Disclosure Details

Speed Camera - 972/12

Dated: 21 Dec 2012

Date of request:     13/12/2012

Date of response:   21/12/2012

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)

Thank you for your email dated 13 December 2012 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked: 

I would like to make a request for information under The Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) 2000 specific to the A188 Benton Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, with particular reference to the section between Quorum Business Park roundabout and the West Farm Avenue roundabout.

  1. The number of fatal accident on this section of road over the last 3 calendar years where speed has been a causation factor.

  2. The number of personal injury collisions on this section of the road over the last 3 calendar years where speed has been a causation factor.

  3. The percentage of drivers exceeding the speed limit outside of rush hour traffic.  I personally would define outside of rush rush hour as all hours outside of  7.30am and 9.30am & 4.00pm and 6.30pm.

  4. The details of the survey undertaken of this section of the road to ascertain this information, including the dates of the survey and findings.  I assume that Northumbria Police have undertaken such a survey in order to meet the Department for Transport criteria for the placement of a mobile speed camera van. It is the results of that survey that I would like. Or can you please confirm that no survey has been undertaken on the stretch of road to which my query relates.

  5. Guidance regarding the siting of signage with particular reference to the siting of mobile enforcement signs and proximity to major junction and or roundabouts.

  6. Could you please also provide which criteria, as issued by the department of transport, it was deemed that siting of a mobile speed camera on this section of the road was necessary.

In response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Operations Department of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held in part by Northumbria Police.

I have today decided to disclose the located information to you as follows.

1&2  The Tyne and Wear Traffic and Accident Data Unit (TADU) carry out the statistical function on behalf of Northumbria Police and they may be able to assist you with this part of your request.  In order to aid and assist you, we have provided contact details below:-

 Ian Abernethy
 TADU Co-ordinator
 Tyne and Wear Traffic and Accident Data Unit
 Transport and Highways Service
 Development and Enterprise
 Gateshead Council
 Civic Centre
 Regent Street
 NE8 1HH
 e-mail:  IanAbernethy@gateshead.gov.uk

3. No information held.  This information is not recorded.

4. There are bi-annual traffic and speed surveys undertaken along this stretch of road as part of the Northumbria Safer Roads Initiative’s (NSRI) remit to only visit sections of road in Northumbria on a regular basis where there has previously been a problem with speed related collisions, and excessive speed remains a problem.  The traffic and speed counter at this location is placed just north of the entrance of the Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter, and the last two traffic and speed surveys carried out were in January and October 2012 (to be precise, 19/01/12 to 25/01/12 and 09/10/12 to 16/10/12).  The average 85th percentile speeds recorded during these visits were 38.56 mph and 39.17 mph respectively, showing that speeds are actually increasing along this section of road, and thus justifying the continued work by the NSRI to enforce the speed limit at this site.

5. As the information you have requested at this part  is accessible by other means I have not provided you with a copy of the information and will rely on Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  You should therefore consider this a refusal for your request.

I have provided an explanation to this exemption below.

Section 21 (1) - Information accessible by other means

Information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant is exempt information.

This information is freely available on Department for Transport web site http://www.dft.gov.uk/

Department for Transport Circular 01/2007 relates guidance on the signs and conspicuity of safety camera activity.   This Circular provides guidance and best practice advice on the deployment of speed and red-light cameras in these circumstances after 1 April 2007. The guidance does not restrict or fetter the police’s discretion to enforce covertly anywhere, at any time. 
Mobile deployments are compliant with these guidelines on every occasion.  There are two permanent safety camera signs warning drivers on approach to the site and additionally there are safety camera warning signs affixed to every side of the mobile vehicle.
This camera signing, visibility and conspicuity guidance has no bearing on the enforcement of offences.  Non-compliance with this guidance does not provide any mitigation of, or defence for, an alleged offence committed under current UK law.

6. The criteria issued by the DfT requires there to be a certain number of collisions recorded along a 1 km stretch of road within a three year baseline period.  These collisions are worked out on a points basis, with a collision where someone was either killed or seriously injured being assigned 5 points, and a collision where someone was slightly injured 1 point.  For a stretch of road to be considered for possible induction into a safety camera programme it first must have 11 points worth of collisions occurring along it.  The baseline period for Benton Lane was 01/04/2005 to 31/03/2008, during which time there were 2 serious and 4 slight collisions (so therefore 14 points).  Incidentally, casualty numbers are not used in determining whether a stretch of road should be considered for possible speed enforcement measures, but Benton Lane had 2 serious and 6 slight casualties from these collisions over the baseline period, and of these, 1 serious and 4 slight casualties were children.  A speed survey is then carried out by the local authority, if their engineers consider speed to be an issue in collisions occurring on this road.  As excessive speed was found in this survey, this road was inducted into the NSRI’s safety camera programme.

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.

How to complain

If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure which can be found at: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp

If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.


FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-67103