London, 31 Oct 2006.
For immediate release.

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Transport Select Committee Needs to Read the Roadsigns
says road safety group

The ABD is deeply concerned that today's Transport Select Committee report has missed the signs showing that speed cameras simply do not work. More than that, the policy behind them is deeply flawed.
 
The Committee missed the sign of the BMJ report on serious road traffic injuries showing virtually no change from 1996 to 2004 for hospital admissions, despite government claims of a substantial reduction.
 
The Committee missed the sign of the DfT's publication of contributory factors showing that exceeding the speed limit is a contributory factor in just 5% of road traffic accidents.
 
The Committee missed the sign of the 'bucketfuls of cash' admission by the former head of the Warwickshire Speed Camera Partnership, who was caught on camera by an undercover sting which exposed speed camera policy as a cash-raiser.
 
The Committee missed the sign of the serious error of 'regression to the mean' which flatters camera statistics, and led to the following comment by Paul Garvin when Chief Constable of Durham
"Statistics adopted by certain forces show a woolly area regarding the proximity of speed cameras, some statistics are taken from an area 20 metres from a camera and others from a two-kilometre radius. The speed camera issue is not a point of principle, it is a fact that they are pointless."
ABD Director of Policy, Mark McArthur-Christie remarked:
"There is a literally fatal flaw in camera policy, and it is the simplistic flaw that equates legality with safety. This is equivalent to closing every hospital down and replacing it with a machine on the high street that just dispenses aspirin, no matter what the illness."
In spite of this overwhelming evidence showing that speed cameras are failing to improve road safety, the Committee have released the Report 'Roads Policing and Technology: Getting the Right Balance' calling for more speed cameras with relaxed placement rules, as well as more traffic police officers.
 
McArthur-Christie:
"Yes, we need more traffic police, but we need to balance that with putting an end to speed cameras. Not only have they given no safety benefits, but we do not know what dangerous side-effects they have. The government badly needs to get the nation's road safety strategy back on track in terms of lives saved. That means recognising that hard-line enforcement of speed limits is not — and never has been — a useful road safety policy."

Notes for editors
 
'Roads Policing and Technology: Getting the right balance' [pdf]
 
The BMJ article
 
The recently published Road Casualties Great Britain 2005 includes causation analysis of UK road traffic accidents.
 
Mail on Sunday article

 

 
Notes for Editors