PR141: Weapons of Mass Distraction
Safe Speed Press information

 release date: 6th October 2004 number: PR141

PR141: Weapons of Mass Distraction

NEWS: For Immediate Release

Local papers report the comments of a coroner and Police expert confirming that speed cameras can be a "deadly distraction" and have been implicated in a particular death.

Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign, comments: "Road safety utterly depends on road users looking where they are going and taking appropriate action when necessary and in good time. But speed cameras force us to look elsewhere - at the speedo inside the car and take our attention away from the road ahead. It should be obvious to everyone that this is dangerous, but the Government has done absolutely nothing to evaluate the degree of danger."

Safe Speed has a web based straw poll about drivers attention to the speedometer in the area of a speed camera and the results are truly frightening. For example, 70% of drivers report diverting 40% OR MORE of their attention towards the speedo in a particular (imaginary but typical) speed camera zone.

The straw poll is not "accurate science", but it is an indication of a potentially very important road safety problem. What has the Government done to understand the issues? Absolutely nothing.


Notes for editors:

Report in Manchester Evening News:

Safe Speed survey of speedo distraction effects:

Top Quality Safe Speed Cartoon: 

... entitled "Weapons of Mass Distraction", showing "little old lady"
moving into the road while "distracted driver" stares at threatening
speed camera. This cartoon may now be reproduced freely so long as the
following credit is given:

"Cartoon courtesy of"

We recommend the caption:

"Weapons of mass distraction"


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 over 7,000 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.      
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.

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