El Reg tells you what the Highway Code can't

Traffic wardens turn to calculators, clampers target ambulances

High performance access to file storage

In fact, all that the council has done is suggest that it makes sense to review whether the £400,000 a year spent on speed cameras represents best value for money. It is intending to report back and take a decision by September.

This, according to Ms Snelgrove, is “playing politics with lives”. Noting the approaching school holidays, she thunders: “By trying to remove the speed cameras in Swindon the council has effectively invited every boy racer in the country to come here.” Given the pace at which local government works, the thought that they might actually make a decision and have the cameras switched off in time for this summer’s holidays seems highly improbable.

In an exemplary piece of no-commentry, Ms Snelgrove’s office ripostes that she has nothing to add – before adding that “people reading the story in the national press will think the cameras are due to disappear tomorrow”.

More fun, as it is revealed that Mr Bluh was himself once banned after an encounter with a speed camera.

Much more serious, though, is the way the camera policy continues to be rammed down the nation’s collective throat without a full debate on the statistical evidence behind it. The great and the good (including the Department of Transport and Ms Snelgrove) all make much of claims that cameras reduce deaths on the roads by about 100 per year.

How mean can you be

Look more closely at the research they cite, and you will notice that this does not take account of selection effects such as “regression to the mean” – although another report (pdf) states that the latter was considered and cameras still had an effect. But presumably not quite as large.

The problem is that cameras are sited in places where the death toll in preceding years exceded some notional guideline. That might be because that spot was intrinsically “unsafe” – or it might be no more than a random fluctuation. This is the "selection effect" the DoT obliquely refer to – and without decent analysis of precisely how it affects figures, precise claims remain dodgy.

Not that this stops the government from making them.

Still, not all is doom and gloom on the motoring front. Lotus has just announced “project eagle” – its first new sports car in more than a decade. The official name will be announced at the British Motor Show next week. It seats four, has a top speed of 160mph and can go from 0-60mph in less than five seconds. If you happen to have a spare £60,000 or so to spend, you should put your name down now to buy one next year. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
prev story


Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.