Action on Speeding

It is hugely disappointing to know that Police resources are so stretched that speeding motorists get so little attention that some people seem to think that they can get away with incredible speeds and dangerous driving on our roads.

Recent announcements by the government that Police budgets are to be frozen this year (with a token gesture of extra money that will actually come out of our pockets if the mayor decides to raise the money) mean there is no likely prospect of things improving in the near future.

But we have not given up !

Today I have written to the Mayor of Greater Manchester asking that Greater Manchester Police should accept DashCam videos, of irresponsible driving, through the internet.

Dashboard Cameras out there allow you to automatically record what happens in front of your car (and some behind as well) for use in evidence if you have an accident or see dangerous driving.  Greater Manchester police should make it as easy as possible for members of the public to report such incidents.

Slimline Connected DashCams

New devices are getting better all the time and I am looking to buy one particular camera that supports very easy uploading of video to the internet to come out – it is due soon !   I look forward to the day when i can easily report dangerous driving to the police and know that something will be done about it!

With the support of the police to make it easy and enough people reporting dangerous driving the small minority that make our roads so dangerous may start to think twice before they risk other people’s lives !

Jon

Discuss Speeding With Your Local Police

Speeding is an ongoing problem in Hazel Grove and all across Stockport.  A small number of individuals feel that they can completely flout the law and travel at grossly excessive speeds.

With fewer police generally and far fewer traffic police in particular they simply do not have the presence to offer the same deterrent that they used to.

The Speed Indicator device has now been deployed at its first site and will over time be sited at a number of our local hot spots.  We hope that this will both increase motorists awareness of their speed and give us evidence we need to look at further measures.

The local police have agreed to Jon Twigge’s request to attend a meeting for the public to discuss the speeding problem and when we have a date confirmed we will let you know.

Speed Detection Using Phones

The rumours are about that the next generation of mobile phones may have lasers to measure distances.  Primarily aimed at helping the phones to support the emerging new technology of Augmented Reality, or AR, these lasers could also potentially enable phones to measure the speed that objects around them are moving at.

Augmented Reality allows a phone or tablet to show the picture from its camera on its screen and to insert computer generated objects into the picture so that they look like they are in the original scene.  The addition of lasers to a phone would allow a model of the world to be built much more accurately.  Then the computer generated objects could be placed much more realistically into scenes.

Virtual Tape from armeasure.com

The image above is taken from a demo video at http://armeasure.com/, a new virtual tape measure app, that will be available soon, that shows the power of virtual reality, even without lasers.

With lasers there is no reason that a mobile phone could not be used to accurately measure the speed of objects at the same time as taking their picture.

It would take some time, technically and legally, but imagine the public being able to accurately report speeding drivers using a simple mobile phone app !    I have written to Tim Cook, head of Apple, to suggest the idea. He very rarely responds to emails but if they implemented this it could help us finally take back control of speeding on our roads.

Speed is one of the major factors in both the number and severity of accidents, injuries and deaths on our roads.

Update:

After discussing this informally with a local police officer they noted that for reports from phones to be used as evidence the law would need to be changed.  Apparently there are very rigorous checks on the devices used by the police to measure the speed of vehicles, for very good reasons, and they have to be carried out both before and after sessions.

On the other hand, discussing the merits of this type of app with colleagues, allowing the public (and councillors!) to measure the speed of vehicles even reasonably accurately would enable the tracking of problem areas much more effectively.  This would allow us to deploy police resources a lot more effectively.

 

Speed Indicator Device coming to Mill Lane

After our campaign on speeding and getting a Speed Indicator Device for Stepping Hill, it is now being deployed.

There are a number of speeding hot spots in Hazel Grove and the device will be deployed at some of the worst ones in the coming months.  Mill Lane, which ought to be a quiet road, has recently seen a lot of speeding as people cut around from Chatsworth Road and back again.

As well as showing motorists how fast they are going, which in itself slows many people down, it will also record how fast every vehicle was travelling.  The information gathered can be analysed later.

It would be wonderful if we could stop excessive speeding in Hazel Grove completely but we hope that the the Speed Indicator’s presence in Hazel Grove will at least make people more aware of their speed and help us to collect evidence for further measures.

Candidates for more sites include Chester Road and Commercial Road amongst others.

The Lib Dem campaign called for a device for the Hazel Grove ward on its own which would have allowed for us to monitor ten sites over a year.  For reasons of cost, the Stepping Hill Area Committee chose to share a device between all three wards meaning we will only get to monitor three or four sites initially.  However, if we see positive results we will again be asking to make a device exclusive to Hazel Grove – it is a small price to pay for road safety.

 

 

World Health Organization Calls for Extended 20mph Limits

The World Health Organization is calling for 20mph limits as best practice where motorised traffic mixes with pedestrians and cyclists.  They argue that a 30mph limit permits speeds which are not consistent with the Common Law duty of councils to protect people when creating, designing or maintaining highways.

As part of the 4th UN Global Road Safety Week, May 8th-14th, WHO has focussed on vehicle speed as the major factor in most collisions. Its document on Speed Management says:

“A safe speed on roads with possible conflicts between cars and pedestrians, cyclists or other vulnerable road users is 30 km/h (see Table 2). To achieve these safe speeds, local authorities should have the legislative power to reduce limits as needed to better protect all who use the roads. In addition, drivers should be informed of limits through sign-posting the legal speed limit on roads and rigorously enforcing the law.”

Read more: http://www.20splenty.org/duty_of_care_mandates_20mph

Cllr Jon Twigge Tackles Road Safety

Your local Lib Dem Cllr Jon Twigge has secured a mobile speed camera dedicated to Hazel Grove, Offerton & Stepping Hill wards following local residents raising their concerns with him.

Jon proposed a dedicated camera for Hazel Grove only, but local Conservative Councillors proposed the scheme be spread across three Council wards. However, Jon sees that it will be a benefit to Hazel Grove and tackle speeding. There may be future scope to purchase more cameras.

Cllr Twigge has also been at the forefront of tackling road safety issues throughout the ward including Chester Rd, Torkington Rd, Queens Rd & Ashbourne Rd.

Jon said, “I fear for local people’s safety unless we take strong action against speeding & poor driving.”

Focus on Speeding – A Speed Detection Device

Cllr Jon Twigge is calling on the Stepping Hill Area Committee to fund a speed detection device similar to the one shown below.

 

Jon says, “The model that we are looking at can be moved to ten different locations a year and not only shows motorists how fast they are driving but also anonymously records all of the speeds to be analysed later.

By placing the sign in some of the places we know that residents are concerned about speeding we can both help to slow some people down but also find out if more action is required.”

Costs for the device are a few thousands to buy and because they are portable there is a smaller ongoing cost to maintain them.   This is on the agenda for the next Stepping Hill Area Committee on Tuesday 7th March.