PR137: Speed Cameras bosses don't have a clue...
Safe Speed Press information

 release date: 14th August 2004 number: PR137

PR137: Speed Cameras bosses don't have a clue...

NEWS: for immediate release

Speed camera rules changes reported in The Times, are proof positive that camera bosses don't know what they are doing, says Safe Speed.

Mr Brunstron, head of the ACPO road safety committee is reported as saying: "We have got cameras at almost all the identifiable casualty hotspots and yet deaths haven't gone down because they are happening elsewhere." Clearly this is because of the random distribution of accidents - they place a camera where there has been a random grouping of accidents, and in the next time period - surprise - the random grouping does not recur. This leads to an illusion of a benefit from the cameras. Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign said: "We have been making a fuss about this problem for years. It's like swatting the place on the wall where you last saw the fly."

Mr Brunstrom admits the "race away" problem and is quoted as saying: "We have a particular problem with motorcyclists slowing down for the cameras but then speeding up and dying on the next corner. We need to keep people’s speed down along the whole stretch of road." Paul comments: "Here we have the first official admission that speed cameras have side effects. Since overall road death statistics and our analysis both indicate that speed camera negative side effects are greater than the benefit, we call once again for a proper scientific analysis of the side effects. It is outrageous that we have a very large scale speed camera program, yet the side effects and potential side effects have never been officially considered, let alone investigate, analysed, quantified and allowed for."

Mr Brunstrom finally admits another fundamental flaws in the speed camera system. The Times says:

"Mr Brunstrom is also lobbying for the abolition of the rule which requires police to demonstrate that the vast majority of cars break the speed limit on a road before they can deploy a camera.

He believes that this prevents forces from targeting roads where the danger comes from the occasional reckless driver breaking the limit by a large margin."

Safe Speed has been reporting this very fundamental blunder in the rules for camera placement for some time. It has had the effect of ensuring that speed cameras are only placed in locations where it is safe to exceed the speed limit. This "rules blunder" must take much of the blame for the total loss of public confidence in the speed camera system.

Paul said: "Our camera bosses are fumbling around in the dark. They don't have the first clue about how dangerously speed cameras have affected our overall road safety system. Vital public confidence has been lost and there is no prospect that it can be restored. All speed cameras must be scrapped immediately before more damage is done.


Notes for editors:

The "rules blunder"

Speed camera side effects:

Random groupings of accidents and an illusion of benefit:

Cameras must be scrapped:

Safe Speed PR index:

Why drivers speed - the truth:

About Safe Speed

The Safe Speed road safety campaign is primarily the work of engineer-turned road safety analyst Paul Smith.

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 about 5,000 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.      
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note: the mobile does not work well at our office. Always try land line first.      
Location: North Scotland      

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Created 8/10/2004. Last update 8/10/2004