Safe Speed Press information

 release date: 28th January 2004 title: BLUNDER IN THE RULES FOR SPEED CAMERA PLACEMENT number: PR105


Road safety campaigners Safe Speed have discovered a serious blunder in the rules for speed camera placement. No speed camera may be placed where competent and careful drivers consider it dangerous to exceed the speed limit, and ALL speed cameras MUST be placed where competent and careful drivers consider that exceeding the speed limit is safe and reasonable. 

The technical details of the blunder are not easily explained - otherwise it would have been spotted long ago - but in the simplest terms traffic engineers have long known that a majority of motorists set a safe speed according to the conditions. Yet the rules for camera placement require that some of the safe majority are speeding at an approved camera site. Equally, NO CAMERA MAY BE PLACED where our most careful and competent drivers consider that exceeding a speed limit would be dangerous.

Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed campaign, said: "This is a blunder of epic proportions and is ample evidence of massive incompetence behind speed camera policy in the UK. This blunder explains exactly why motorists are complaining that cameras are in the wrong places, yet the DfT maintains that cameras are sited according to the rules. The error is in the rules.

The use of speed cameras remains highly controversial, with growing public hatred and distrust of the system. Claims of casualty reductions have yet to be reflected in the national figures.

Paul Smith continues: "This is so serious that we must demand an immediate cessation of all speed camera operations pending a review by genuinely independent experts. It is clear that most speed cameras, most of the time are trapping competent and careful drivers. Where is the road safety benefit in that?"

Since there is an important and basic flaw in the rules for camera placement we are forced to question the competence of those that made the rules. If they got this so wrong, what else did they get wrong?

Safe Speed demands an immediate return to the road safety policies that gave us in the UK the safest roads in the World in the first place.



Motorcycle news article available as two PDF files:

The Motorcycle News article is available for syndication and republication. In the first instance please contact:

Rich Beach
MCN News Desk
01733 468024

Further information from Safe Speed on the subject including technical details and reference documents:


Since setting up Safe Speed in 2001, Paul Smith, 49, an advanced motorist and road safety enthusiast, and a professional engineer of 25 years UK experience, has carried out in excess of 4,500 hours of research into the overall effects of speed camera policy on UK road safety. We believe that this is more work in more detail than anything carried out by any other organisation. Paul's surprising conclusion is that overall speed cameras make our roads more dangerous. Paul has identified and reported a number of major flaws and false assumptions in the claims made for speed cameras, and the whole "speed kills" system of road safety. 

The inescapable conclusion is that we should urgently return to the excellent road safety policies that gave us in the UK the safest roads in the World in the first place. 

Safe Speed does not campaign against speed limits or appropriate enforcement of motoring laws, but argues vigorously that automated speed enforcement is neither safe nor appropriate.

Contact Safe Speed:

email :
telephone: 01862 832000 anytime. 
mobile: 07799 045553 
note: the mobile does not work well at our office. Always try land line first. 
Location: North Scotland 

We are available for press and media interviews. 

We have a strict editorial policy regarding factual content. If any fact anywhere on this web site can be shown to be incorrect we promise to remove it or correct it as soon as possible.
Copyright © SafeSpeed 2004
Created 28/01/2004. Last update 28/01/2004