Fleet News

Road safety organisations issue joint statement in defence of speed cameras

To spark an informed debate, nine road safety groups have put their names to a communiqué which unequivocally recognises speed cameras as an effective part of a much broader programme to save lives and reduce injuries on UK roads.

RoSPA has been in touch with a number of local authorities in the week since cuts to road safety budgets rose to national prominence - with some councils reporting that they are considering changes to how they use speed cameras.

Before those decisions are taken, the communiqué’s co-signatories want to raise public awareness, demonstrate unity and feed the wider debate with facts stated below.

  • Speed cameras help to save lives - an estimated 100 lives a year in the UK.
  • Lives are saved by reducing speeding. Speeding significantly increases the risk of an accident happening; and also increases the severity of injuries in an accident.
  • Cameras should continue to be used where casualty statistics show they are needed.
  • Switching off cameras systematically would be close to creating a void in law enforcement on the road. Cameras currently account for 84 per cent of fixed penalty notices for speeding.
  • Cuts might also threaten many speed awareness courses that give motorists an opportunity to learn about the dangers of driving too fast.
  • While public spending needs to be cut, cuts must be justified by evidence. Cameras pay for themselves and currently make an important contribution to achieving compliance with the speed limit.

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  • amd - 25/08/2010 09:04

    The problem with road safety groups issuing statements about speed cameras is that they sound like a stuck record. I agree that they should be used where casualty statistics support them, however all too often they are situated to generate money and are used as a substitute for real policing of the roads. On my commute into work in the morning it's nigh on impossible to exceed the posted speed limit, however the drivers who skip through red lights or talk on their mobiles whilst going past a school are much more dangerous yet because they don't speed they won't be caught. Yes, let's have an informed debate but let's look at the whole road safety picture. Perhaps then they will garner some respect from motorists?

  • Richardtechnik - 25/08/2010 19:35

    Absolutely agree with amd. There are very few places where casualty statistics genuinely support the placement of speed cameras and even outside schools motorists should be looking at the road ahead not at their speedometer. Brake, Rospa and the Speed Camera Partnerships are a stuck record.

  • Edward Handley - 27/08/2010 18:36

  • Edward Handley - 27/08/2010 19:11

    The problem is not road safety groups issueing statments that sound like a stuck record, so much as people not wanting to hear certain messages. Safety cameras are not popular and have not always been used to best effect, but like any tool, used properly they can perform a very useful function. The problem is that some motorists do not stick to posted speed limits, and in some places their lack of commonsense and restraint puts others lives at risk, and that is not acceptable. Where there are clearly identified danger spots, a speed camera can be a very effective measure. It is not however a substitute for proper road policing or other measures, but that is not the fault of the cameras. AMD makes a good point when he mentions the drivers who "skip through red lights" but there are a few safety cameras on traffic lights, and very effective they are too. The problem is that they will probably be switched off as well. As for the drivers "who talk on their mobiles wile passing a school" - they do need to be caught but there is no automated technology to catch them yet, so it is down to proper road policing to catch them, and the funding is not available. However, if someone does come up with automated technology that will identify and ticket anyone using a hand held mobile while driving past a school, you can guarantee that there will be letters in Fleet News complaining about them just being a revenue gathering exercise as well. Ultimately the problem is not the camera partnerships or the road safety groups, but the people who think it is ok to break speed limits, jump red lights, or talk on a mobile while passing a school, (or all three). Where education does not work, some form of enforcement will always be necessary. The arguement is simply about what form of enforcement, and who pays for it, and switching off all the cameras before thinking through the consequences will inevitably lead to more casualties. So, before anyone says the road safety group

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