Fleet News

Speed camera link to fatal crash rise?

AN investigation claims to have revealed that road traffic deaths have increased in UK counties where the number of speed cameras have increased.

It found that two areas where the number of cameras increased dramatically also noted some of the biggest increases in the number of deaths of the roads.

The study looked at Government statistics on UK road accidents, comparing them to speed camera locations and the number of fines issued, with support from road safety campaign group Safe Speed and speed camera warning device manufacturer Road Pilot.

Fleet News sister title Motorcycle News (MCN), which carried out the research, claimed that in Hertfordshire, the number of speed cameras rose by 24% between 2003 and 2004, while the number of deaths went up by 34% from 38 to 51.

In Wiltshire, it found that the number of speed cameras used increased by 14%, issuing 39,680 fines, while deaths increased by 22%.

The report said: ‘We found that two areas which had huge increases in 2004 also had some of the biggest increases in deaths.

‘Then we identified three of the country’s most aggressive speed camera partnerships in terms of the number of fines issued and found they had also had some of the worst increases in death rates. In contrast, two areas which have no speed cameras at all saw the tally of deaths plummet.’

The study found that in Durham, where there is only one speed camera, the number of deaths on the roads fell by 24%. It was the same in North Yorkshire, where deaths fell by 9%.

Safe Speed founder Paul Smith said: ‘Crashes are avoided by looking where you are going and making a safe plan based on what you see. Speed cameras tend to move attention away from hazards and towards speedometers and speed limit signs. They also affect road policing levels.’

Recent research has found that most fleets believe that speed cameras do reduce the number of road accidents.

Earlier this year, leasing company LeasePlan questioned more than 500 companies and found that 66% believe speed cameras are working.

Studies by road safety charity Brake and Green Flag Motoring Assistance found that 62% of drivers support the use of mobile speed cameras.

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