Plans to turn Somerset's speed cameras back on

BETHANY Adams who was killed in a car crash last year. PHOTO: Archive.

BETHANY Adams who was killed in a car crash last year. PHOTO: Archive.

First published in News

A MOTHER whose daughter was killed in a car crash has backed plans to turn speed cameras in Somerset back on – if evidence shows they make a difference.

Bethany-Paige Adams, 17, died when the speeding car she was travelling in lost control and hit a tree on the A358 in West Somerset.

This week, her mum, Helen Adams, told the County Gazette it was vital motorists stick to the speed limit and backed calls from Avon and Somerset Chief Constable Nick Gargan to switch the cameras on.

She said: “If you’re driving within the speed limit then it shouldn’t make a difference if they’re on or off but for those who do speed they should be on if it’s going to help save lives.”

Following their daughter’s death last year, Mrs Adams and her husband set up “Stand Against Speed 4 Bethany” to raise awareness of driver safety among young adults.

Fixed Speed Cameras were made inactive in Somerset in 2011 after the government withdrew its funding for the Safety Camera Partnership which operated them.

Police say 48 people have died on the region’s roads so far this year, two more than in the whole of 2012 and 16 more than in 2011.

Mr Gargan has described the figures as a “significant concern”.

He said: “The best way to cut the number of people being killed or seriously injured is by having a deterrent.

“Part of that could be education and changing the public attitude, it could be community speed watch, officers enforcing the law, fixed speed cameras or mobile van units.

“When I was first asked to consider speed camera I was surprised they were not on and after looking at the evidence we found they do more good than harm.”

A spokesman for Somerset County Council, which is in charge of the county’s highways, said the call from Mr Gargan to switch cameras back on is contrary to the advice given in 2010.

He said: “Police told us fixed speed cameras were not effective in reducing the speeds of drivers.

“We have asked for evidence that turning them back on will protect Somerset residents and look forward to receiving this.”

  •   Mr and Mrs Adams’ speeding group received a boost this week thanks to a donation of £250 from social housing group Magna.

Mrs Adams said: “A minibus has already been donated to us to use but this money means we can take more people from the area to the course where they participate in activities that look at the consequence of speed.

“You see so many people now driving while using their mobile phones and they don’t seem aware of the consequences and the responsibility they have not just to themselves but to passengers and other road users.”

Mr Gargan added: “The fundamental thing is getting drivers to think about their speed because their driver error can cost the lives of other people who were driving appropriately.

“Anyone massively exceeding the speed limit is creating danger and it is a selfish act.”

Any 17- to 24-year-olds who would like to take part in the “Choice and Consequence course” are invited to contact Mrs Adams on the “Stand Against Speed 4 Bethany” page via Facebook.

Comments (8)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:45pm Thu 10 Oct 13

FreeSpeech? says...

Speed cameras would not have saved this girls life a the shear recklessness of the driver of the car she died in was responsible, I'm all for speed cameras if they could save lives at certain sites but am afraid all too often they have been used as cash cows. What is needed is for all young drivers to be forced to have black boxes fitted in their cars, a limit on young passengers they can carry and and also on night driving as it has been proven to work in others countries it's used. Cannot see how a speed camera is going to prevent deaths on the open roads, only a complete change of attitude will do this and if insurance companies can track the idiots and price them off the roads leaving it for the the sensible young drivers of which their are many then so be it.
Speed cameras would not have saved this girls life a the shear recklessness of the driver of the car she died in was responsible, I'm all for speed cameras if they could save lives at certain sites but am afraid all too often they have been used as cash cows. What is needed is for all young drivers to be forced to have black boxes fitted in their cars, a limit on young passengers they can carry and and also on night driving as it has been proven to work in others countries it's used. Cannot see how a speed camera is going to prevent deaths on the open roads, only a complete change of attitude will do this and if insurance companies can track the idiots and price them off the roads leaving it for the the sensible young drivers of which their are many then so be it. FreeSpeech?
  • Score: 8

5:54pm Thu 10 Oct 13

azurepoppy says...

I totally agree with FreeSpeech's comment.

More definitely needs to be done to reduce the number of road traffic collisions involving young drivers.

My son lives in New Zealand and they have restricted licences for new drivers which includes a night time curfew and not being allowed to carry other passengers that don't hold a full licence. This law works for them so why does this country find it so hard not to enforce a law that would work here.

I am Bethany's mum and we are working very closely with the police and other agencies to help educate young drivers of the consequences of speed and recklessness when driving.

We would really appreciate any ideas, suggestions or help that anyone has to offer.

You can contact via our facebook page 'Stand Against Speed 4 Bethany'.
I totally agree with FreeSpeech's comment. More definitely needs to be done to reduce the number of road traffic collisions involving young drivers. My son lives in New Zealand and they have restricted licences for new drivers which includes a night time curfew and not being allowed to carry other passengers that don't hold a full licence. This law works for them so why does this country find it so hard not to enforce a law that would work here. I am Bethany's mum and we are working very closely with the police and other agencies to help educate young drivers of the consequences of speed and recklessness when driving. We would really appreciate any ideas, suggestions or help that anyone has to offer. You can contact via our facebook page 'Stand Against Speed 4 Bethany'. azurepoppy
  • Score: 3

10:52am Fri 11 Oct 13

Tinhharris says...

I do agree with above, but think speed cameras get a bad press. They most defiantly are not the answers alone, may be they would have a better press if money from fines was directly spent on road policing/safety. I guess a lot of the money is ploughed back into staffing costs, maintenance, or what ever political theme is going to create votes next election.
Only thous who speed pay up, so I don't see it as a cash cow, yes everyone caught speeding makes excuses (i have been caught, my own fault no one else, so not preaching), but that's all it is, an excuse. Speeding is speeding regardless, and most reasonable people once caught will think about their speed, even if just to save themselves from penalty points
and fines. I will freely and honestly admit that I probably drove slower and more cautiously in areas with speed cameras when they were active than now, not just past the camera but perhaps through a whole village. Yes they have their limitations, but so what? if it enforces the law and makes caught individuals think! At the end of the day cameras do not make people speed, so how can they be cash cows?

Having said that we need better road education, better road policing and most importantly we need to change our driving culture, people think its a good thing, a challenge, or their right, to get somewhere as quick as possible.
I do agree with above, but think speed cameras get a bad press. They most defiantly are not the answers alone, may be they would have a better press if money from fines was directly spent on road policing/safety. I guess a lot of the money is ploughed back into staffing costs, maintenance, or what ever political theme is going to create votes next election. Only thous who speed pay up, so I don't see it as a cash cow, yes everyone caught speeding makes excuses (i have been caught, my own fault no one else, so not preaching), but that's all it is, an excuse. Speeding is speeding regardless, and most reasonable people once caught will think about their speed, even if just to save themselves from penalty points and fines. I will freely and honestly admit that I probably drove slower and more cautiously in areas with speed cameras when they were active than now, not just past the camera but perhaps through a whole village. Yes they have their limitations, but so what? if it enforces the law and makes caught individuals think! At the end of the day cameras do not make people speed, so how can they be cash cows? Having said that we need better road education, better road policing and most importantly we need to change our driving culture, people think its a good thing, a challenge, or their right, to get somewhere as quick as possible. Tinhharris
  • Score: 1

11:25am Tue 15 Oct 13

Mi_Coc says...

The issue is traffic police have been eroded since 2003 we have had a 29% reduction.

A speed camera can only stop normal law abiding motorist. IN the case of Amy it would not of stopped the driver who killed as he was banned and not in a car reg to him.

What we need is more police as a speed camera has a limited effect, and its main purpose is to generate revenue.
The issue is traffic police have been eroded since 2003 we have had a 29% reduction. A speed camera can only stop normal law abiding motorist. IN the case of Amy it would not of stopped the driver who killed as he was banned and not in a car reg to him. What we need is more police as a speed camera has a limited effect, and its main purpose is to generate revenue. Mi_Coc
  • Score: 0

1:30pm Tue 15 Oct 13

scrumpyman says...

I also agree that speed cameras don't save lives especially in the case outlined above. However they do make drivers think about their speed and if you are not exceeding the speed limit then you have nothing to worry about. There's no need to exceed 30mph in town or 60mph on a A road. What's the big deal? Just to save 5 minutes on a journey. I am not advocating that we all crawl along the roads but there has been a deterioration in driving courteousness in recent years by a sizeable minorty who think that they can drive at what speed they like, can tail-gate and cut-up other drivers and I agree with Mi_Coc that more traffic cops are also needed to reduce inconsiderate driving.
I also agree that speed cameras don't save lives especially in the case outlined above. However they do make drivers think about their speed and if you are not exceeding the speed limit then you have nothing to worry about. There's no need to exceed 30mph in town or 60mph on a A road. What's the big deal? Just to save 5 minutes on a journey. I am not advocating that we all crawl along the roads but there has been a deterioration in driving courteousness in recent years by a sizeable minorty who think that they can drive at what speed they like, can tail-gate and cut-up other drivers and I agree with Mi_Coc that more traffic cops are also needed to reduce inconsiderate driving. scrumpyman
  • Score: 3

1:40pm Tue 15 Oct 13

GoingGreen says...

Why are people against speed cameras so much? They are designed to fine people for driving too fast, which they do. They are not a "cure all" solution but better than nothing. Why not generate money from law breakers?
Why are people against speed cameras so much? They are designed to fine people for driving too fast, which they do. They are not a "cure all" solution but better than nothing. Why not generate money from law breakers? GoingGreen
  • Score: 2

10:56pm Wed 16 Oct 13

Mi_Coc says...

GoingGreen wrote:
Why are people against speed cameras so much? They are designed to fine people for driving too fast, which they do. They are not a "cure all" solution but better than nothing. Why not generate money from law breakers?
Because use they penalise they normal law abiding drivers and the real criminals using the road can fly past them with no recourse.

Your netty jones type who is unlicensed and uninsured is going to be delt with by a camera.

They also cause some emergency service drivers great deal of pain. Some national blood drivers have had problems as do freewheelers. The revenue is not ploughed into good causes it's treasury cash cow.
[quote][p][bold]GoingGreen[/bold] wrote: Why are people against speed cameras so much? They are designed to fine people for driving too fast, which they do. They are not a "cure all" solution but better than nothing. Why not generate money from law breakers?[/p][/quote]Because use they penalise they normal law abiding drivers and the real criminals using the road can fly past them with no recourse. Your netty jones type who is unlicensed and uninsured is going to be delt with by a camera. They also cause some emergency service drivers great deal of pain. Some national blood drivers have had problems as do freewheelers. The revenue is not ploughed into good causes it's treasury cash cow. Mi_Coc
  • Score: 0

10:53pm Thu 17 Oct 13

azurepoppy says...

Mi_Coc wrote:
The issue is traffic police have been eroded since 2003 we have had a 29% reduction.

A speed camera can only stop normal law abiding motorist. IN the case of Amy it would not of stopped the driver who killed as he was banned and not in a car reg to him.

What we need is more police as a speed camera has a limited effect, and its main purpose is to generate revenue.
Not sure why you mentioned Amy when this article is about Bethany
[quote][p][bold]Mi_Coc[/bold] wrote: The issue is traffic police have been eroded since 2003 we have had a 29% reduction. A speed camera can only stop normal law abiding motorist. IN the case of Amy it would not of stopped the driver who killed as he was banned and not in a car reg to him. What we need is more police as a speed camera has a limited effect, and its main purpose is to generate revenue.[/p][/quote]Not sure why you mentioned Amy when this article is about Bethany azurepoppy
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree