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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 08:07 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 06:46
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(I was sent the following extract by email)

Ministers set to probe 'killer'speed cameras

The Government has ordered an enquiry into claims thaty speed cameras cause road accidents rather than save lives.

Safety experts fear the rising death toll on Britain's roads could be because drivers speed up once they are out of range of roadside cameras.

While deaths at fixed camera sites fell by 100 in 2003 - the latest year for which figures are available - the overall road fatality rate rose by 77, fuelling concerns that the yellow boxes might be causing serious

Now the Department for Transport has sent a circular to universties and research institutes inviting bids for a two year research study to begin in September. It says: "There is a need to establish whether the use of
speed cameras causes a migration of accidents to other locations".

Motoring organisations have long claimed that the Government has become fixated by speed cameras - which have raised £700 million in fines since they were introduced - at the expense of other anti-speeding
measures such as better roads and more police patrols. There are around 6,000 cameras across the country.

Road deaths jumped from 3,431 in 2002 to 3,508 in 2003, a rise blamed by the RAC on an 11 per cent reduction in traffic police since 1996. Last month The Mail on Sunday revealed new evidence that cameras fail
to reduce serious crashes in built up areas. The study, by Liverpool University's civil engineering department, said other devices such as speed humps, were more effective.

Paul Smith, of campaign group Safe Speed, urged Transport Secretary Alistair Darling to pull the plug on the cameras. He said: 'He must face up to the fact that cameras don't make roads safer'.

A DfT spokesman said: 'This new research into accident occurrence and speed behaviour will help improve our understanding of the wider effects of these cameras'.

Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety

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