No Reason To Smile For This Camera
This camera on the A62 Oldham Road is positioned in a 30mph zone near Manchester city centre.
What’s so special about it? It has caught more speeding motorists over the 5 year period between 2006 and 2010 than any other in the Greater Manchester area – a grand total of 13,330 equating to flashing 51 speeding drivers a week on average, which itself equates to being worth £800,000 in fines to whoever the fines money goes to and is spent on..
The second most prolific camera is on the A57 Hyde Road in Manchester and has caught 11,634 motorists, while the third on the A56 Bury New Road in Salford clocked 10,396 over the same period.
In fact, in that time, speed cameras around Greater Manchester have snared nearly 176,000 – raking in fines totalling £10.5m.
There are 151 fixed speed cameras in the region, and data has recently been published by Greater Manchester Casualty Reduction Partnership, ordered by bosses at the Department for Transport, as backing for local MPs and the family of a teenager killed on a busy road.
The parents of Natalie Pickwick-Jones, 15, who was knocked down by a car on Bolton Road in Radcliffe, Bury, in 2004, fought successfully to have a speed camera installed at the junction and the figures show it has caught more than 3,600 motorists.
Manchester Withington MP John Leech said: “What the figures show is that speed cameras are a very useful road safety tool, where they are used in an appropriate location. The release of this data will give the public confidence that speed cameras are doing their job.”
The important word there is appropriate, because a lot of drivers display anger at the placing of speed cameras as they consider them a purely money-making vehicle, but a lot of the time this isn’t so. In this case, the facts that Manchester has 31 cameras – more than any other borough in the region – but Bury, where this speed camera was fought for (and won) has the least, with just four.
Blackley and Broughton MP Graham Stringer said: “I think data on any enforcement paid for by the public should be released. Speed cameras are controversial and they should be used where a case can be made that they improve road safety.”
Drivers are obviously not learning. Greater Manchester’s figures show a total of 45,398 people were caught speeding by fixed cameras in the region in 2010, the latest data available. More than 19,000 of them paid fines and had their licences endorsed. Another 22,000 completed a speed awareness course and 4,000 appeared in court.
Josie Wride, group leader of the Greater Manchester Casualty Reduction Partnership, said: “The primary aim for safety camera deployment is to reduce death and injuries on the roads by reducing the level and severity of speeding. Safety cameras are only ever installed to lower speeds after all possible engineering features have been exhausted at that location.”
The partnership says a study of safety cameras in Greater Manchester between January 2007 and December 2009 showed that the number of collisions where people were killed and seriously injured had fallen by more than 48% per cent compared with April 2000 to March 2003.
But unfortunately that doesn’t seem to have helped with overall figures in Greater Manchester.