Smith alert.. on the BBC AGAIN!!!

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Al_mossah, Jan 29, 2004.

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  1. Al_mossah

    Al_mossah Guest

    There was an article on Radio 4's "More or less" programme this pm (Thurs 29th Jan) , which
    purports to take a look at statistics. Today they were looking at speed cameras, and had a
    soundbite from our hero on it. Distressingly, probably because they limited him to a few dozen
    words, he sounded almost sane.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/more_or_less/

    He argued that improvements in road safety following the placement of cameras at accident blackspots
    were often entirely coincidental, and a garden gnome would have had the same effect due to the
    effect known as "regression to the mean". In other words, a bad couple of years is likely to be
    followed by years which are nearer to the mean.

    I shall write to the BBC to suggest that if they want to use authoritative sources they may be able
    to do better than our hero.

    Btw, A logical extension of his argument is that speed cameras are wasted at accident blackspots.
    But I thought that the anti-camera lot objected to them being anywhere but at accident blackspots!
    Oh, well, why should I expect logic.

    Peter.
     
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  2. al_Mossah wrote:

    > I shall write to the BBC to suggest that if they want to use authoritative sources they may be
    > able to do better than our hero.

    I'm sure there's a joke in here somewhere about Teflon Tony and his faithful sheepdog Hutt, but the
    whole thing is too depressing to contemplate. Bah!

    --

    Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    "al_Mossah" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > Btw, A logical extension of his argument is that speed cameras are wasted
    at
    > accident blackspots. But I thought that the anti-camera lot objected to them being anywhere but at
    > accident blackspots! Oh, well, why should I expect logic.

    No, they object to them anywhere, they just pretend they don't mind them being at accident
    blackspots in order to not appear quite so extreme.

    cheers, clive
     
  4. Nick Kew

    Nick Kew Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "al_Mossah" <[email protected]> writes:

    > He argued that improvements in road safety following the placement of cameras at accident
    > blackspots were often entirely coincidental, and a

    If you replace "were often" with "could be", and if you restrict the definition of "accident
    blackspot" to a limited period of time (like studies using three years), then he could have a point.

    > "regression to the mean". In other words, a bad couple of years is likely to be followed by years
    > which are nearer to the mean.

    Indeed. The argument boils down to whether what's been classified as accident blackspots are
    anything more than a statistical blip.

    > Btw, A logical extension of his argument is that speed cameras are wasted at accident blackspots.

    Yep. They should be everywhere without discrimination.

    But of course, this falls down when you consider what most local people would think of as an
    accident black spot - one with a far longer history of trouble than just the three years.

    --
    Nick Kew
     
  5. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Thu, 29 Jan 2004 19:05:26 +0000, [email protected] (Nick Kew)
    wrote:

    >this falls down when you consider what most local people would think of as an accident black spot -
    >one with a far longer history of trouble than just the three years.

    Quite - and these are the places where locals often campaign long and hard for erection of a camera.

    Guy
    ===
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://chapmancentral.demon.co.uk
     
  6. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    al_Mossah <[email protected]> wrote:

    : He argued that improvements in road safety following the placement of cameras at accident
    : blackspots were often entirely coincidental, and a garden gnome would have had the same effect due
    : to the effect known as "regression to the mean".

    Sigh. This is were general bad understanding of basic stats hurt.

    The obvious next question should have been

    "So, if a road had a 30 m hole in it just round a blind bend, would accidents there revert to
    the mean?"

    Sigh. Again.

    Arthur

    --
    Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org "Technolibertarians make a philosophy out of a personality defect"
    - Paulina Borsook
     
  7. On Thu, 29 Jan 2004 20:57:20 +0000, "Just zis Guy, you know?"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Thu, 29 Jan 2004 19:05:26 +0000, [email protected] (Nick Kew) wrote:
    >
    >>this falls down when you consider what most local people would think of as an accident black spot
    >>- one with a far longer history of trouble than just the three years.
    >
    >Quite - and these are the places where locals often campaign long and hard for erection of
    >a camera.
    >

    The rules regarding placement of cameras really annoys me. But, sadly, this requirement for blood on
    the road is pretty standard when attempting to get any highway intervention. Traffic calming, ped
    crossings etc; unless you can demonstrate the road is actively killing people (you know what I
    mean), nothing will get done.

    Locals are quite understandably disappointed to be told that the three cars that have landed in
    their living room in the past year don't count.

    The answer to how many people have to die before the law even stands a chance of being enforced is
    3. Within 100 yards. Within 3 years.
     
  8. There is a particularly clue-free pair of cameras near Larrington Towers. They are situated near a
    corner where there have been numerous RTAs. A couple of years ago They realised that this was a
    dodgy corner and resurfaced the eastbound lane with high-grip Stuff. However, a Several of months
    after that, They resurfaced the whole road and didn't replace the high-grip Stuff. Doh!

    Anyway, They also put in cameras, one facing in either direction. The one acting on the
    westbound lane is before the corner, as the point is to ensure drivers slow down before reaching
    the said corner. The one in the eastbound lane is /after/ the corner, as the point is to ensure
    that, er, hang on.

    --

    Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
  9. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    "[Not Responding]" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > The rules regarding placement of cameras really annoys me. But, sadly, this requirement for blood
    > on the road is pretty standard when attempting to get any highway intervention.

    It is my understanding (and you will know more about this than I) that in the Olden Days a 30 limit
    in a village required the usual justification-by-carnage, and these rules were changed. Drivers now
    bleat about the plethopra of 30 limits in places they hadn't noticed there were houses (presumably
    because they were going too fast to see them) and the result is a move back to the old blood-and-
    gore criteria, as seen with camera placements.

    Is it necessary to demonstrate a certain level of muggings before installling CCTV in a town centre?
    I think not. Time to challenge the absurd pretence that speeding isn't /really/ illegal.

    --
    Guy
    ===

    WARNING: may contain traces of irony. Contents may settle after posting.
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk
     
  10. Andymorris

    Andymorris Guest

    Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
    > Time to challenge the absurd pretence that speeding isn't /really/
    illegal.

    Or victimless, not only from the potential injury and loss of life in crashes, but also due to the
    excess noise and pollution and intimidatory effects on non motor users.

    --
    Andy Morris

    AndyAtJinkasDotFreeserve.Co.UK

    Love this:
    Put an end to Outlook Express's messy quotes
    http://home.in.tum.de/~jain/software/oe-quotefix/
     
  11. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On Thu, 29 Jan 2004 20:57:20 +0000, "Just zis Guy, you know?"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >>this falls down when you consider what most local people would think of as an accident black spot
    >>- one with a far longer history of trouble than just the three years.
    >
    >Quite - and these are the places where locals often campaign long and hard for erection of
    >a camera.

    Hi Guy

    ISTM that many want cameras in or near their own little village but object to them elsewhere. A
    YIMBY/NIMBY state of affairs.

    Being silly for a mo. ... Taking PS's argument to the extreme (I'm assuming I heard him correctly),
    there should be cameras everywhere apart from in accident blackspots.

    James
     
  12. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

    On Sat, 31 Jan 2004 20:29:33 +0000, James Hodson
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Being silly for a mo. ... Taking PS's argument to the extreme (I'm assuming I heard him correctly),
    >there should be cameras everywhere apart from in accident blackspots.

    If I understand his argument correctly it is that a reduction in accidents could be due only to one
    of two things: the cameras or regression to the mean. As he has demonstrated that cameras increase
    accidents, that only leaves regression to the mean, and all accident blackspots must therefore be
    due to a statistical blip.

    Is that it?

    --
    Dave...

    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live. Mark Twain
     
  13. Pk

    Pk Guest

    Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
    > "[Not Responding]" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    > Is it necessary to demonstrate a certain level of muggings before installling CCTV in a town
    > centre? I think not.

    Wrong!

    30seconds on google turned up

    http://216.239.59.104/search?q=cache:TTAQzs37qtMJ:www.ne-
    erbyshire.gov.uk/EasySite/lib/serveDocument.asp%3Fdoc%3D453%26pgid%3D773+cctv+criteria&hl=en&ie=UTF-
    8

    aFbl3ZP2wJ:www.cambridge.gov.uk/councillors/agenda/2002/1111strat/09.pdf+cctv+criteria&hl=en&ie=UTF-
    8

    from the second one:

    one of the criteria to justify a scheme:

    The proposal relates to an area which has a higher than average crime rate of types of crime where
    CCTV has a proven role in prevention or detection (or both). Evidence of crime in the area should be
    capable of demonstration by hard evidence, rather than anecdote. CCTV should not be used simply to
    reduce the fear of crime. The problem(s) which CCTV is intended to address should be clearly
    defined, so that an assessment can be made of its likely success in dealing with the problem(s

    pk
     
  14. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On Sun, 01 Feb 2004 15:19:20 +0000, Dave Kahn <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >If I understand his argument correctly it is that a reduction in accidents could be due only to one
    >of two things: the cameras or regression to the mean. As he has demonstrated that cameras increase
    >accidents, that only leaves regression to the mean, and all accident blackspots must therefore be
    >due to a statistical blip.
    >
    >Is that it?

    It could be be so, Dave. At least that's how I understand it to be.

    There will always be some road deaths in this country; perhaps (approximately) three thousand is
    that figure.

    James
     
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