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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Speed Camera roulette

The Department of Transport are to carry out research to determine whether speed cameras cause as many accidents as they prevent.

The investigation has been prompted by the latest figures which show road deaths fell at 100 camera sites but rose at 77 others. Safety experts are starting to echo what drivers have been saying for some time, that at Britain's 6,000 cameras, drivers may simply slow down on approach and put their foot down afterwards. There are also concerns that motorists may be steering clear of cameras by using alternative routes.

I have always been astonished that the policy of installing speed cameras on trunk roads in particular, has been pursued so vigorously without the benefit of this sort of research. A lot of statements have been made in their defence without evidence to back them up, whilst claims by motorists that are based on real and substantial anecdotal evidence have been dismissed out of hand. Let us hope that this research provides some more authorative answers and that whatever conclusions it reaches are acted upon.
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