London, 27 Apr 2006.
For immediate release.

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ABD Condemns Stradling Camera Report as "Contrived"
The ABD today condemned recent claims that speed cameras catch bad drivers as simplistic and contrived.
 
Dr Steve Stradling of Edinburgh Napier University claims that his report "buries the myth of the safe speeder" because 60% of drivers with points on their licences have been involved in an accident compared with 40% of those with a clean licence. It does nothing of the kind.
 
This study was commissioned and paid for by eight Midlands Speed Camera Partnerships, organisations who are desperate to produce a steady stream of propaganda to justify their existence in the face of mounting public awareness that two million speeding tickets are being doled out which have no relevance to road safety.
 
Dr Stradling himself heads up the grandiosely titled "Transport Research Institute" at Napier University, and is widely known as an anti car academic.
 
"The camera partnerships have just tapped up a tame academic to produce a self serving piece of propaganda" said the ABD's Nigel Humphries. "It is inconceivable that they would have paid any university to produce something that failed to support their position."
 
This study fails to demonstrate that the vast majority of camera fines are justifed by safety. On the contrary, if those with points on their licence are more likely to crash, it suggests that giving more drivers speeding points will increase accidents!
 
Accident causation studies, in particular the West Midlands Road Accident Reviews, show that speeding causes less than 5% of accidents. Most crashes are caused by attention and observation failures, so it is hardly surprising that accident-prone drivers, who are less aware of what is going on around them, are more likely to be caught by bright yellow, high visibility speed cameras than safe drivers who see the camera and avoid being caught by it. That's not rocket science.
 
"Stradling's report actally demonstrates how bad cameras are at improving road safety," continues Humphries. "The bad drivers who cause crashes may be more likely to be caught on camera, but all this will achieve is to turn them into bad drivers who watch out for cameras and nothing else."
 
Meanwhile, millions of safe drivers are caught out by cynically sited cameras enforcing unreasonably low limits, often because they are looking ahead to anticipate hazards rather than slavishly looking at their speedometers. This is an unmitigated disaster for road safety, as it punishes vital driving skills that should be encouraged by the government.
 

 

 
Notes for Editors