London, 25 Nov 2000.
For immediate release.

Contact the ABD

Press Release

Road Safety Or Revenue?
The Association of British Drivers today questions the motives behind speed cameras.
BBC Midlands Today, on Wednesday 22nd November, featured a 'new type of digital camera' in Kidderminster, apparently designed to catch speeding drivers who would normally slam on their brakes when they see measuring lines painted on the road.

ABD spokesman for the Midlands, Tony Heathington, comments

"For the first time we have been told in the media what we already suspected: that speed cameras cause more accidents than they prevent. There must have been hundreds of accidents caused by drivers reacting too late to speed cameras and slamming on their brakes in panic, causing other cars to crash into their back end. Many of these accidents are happening within the speed limit. Take away the cameras and they simply would not have happened.

But, it could be understood from the BBC programme that this new type of digital camera is designed to fool the driver into not slowing down.

Cameras were introduced for use at known accident blackspots, but this has subsequently been corrupted and now we see them primarily used on safe, straight, wide dual carriageways for the generation of revenue. Making them difficult to see is foolhardy, and it is obvious that those with power to abuse are using them to raise cash from motorists, rather than as a tool to get them to slow down in the face of a known danger."

ABD Chairman, Brian Gregory, added
"The ABD are happy to see cameras used as originally intended, but their misuse is a scandal. It is cynical of the authorities to try to hide their location by using grey paint or hiding them behind other road signs or bushes. If they were painted dayglo orange drivers could see them from a distance and adjust their speed accordingly, and in complete safety."

Notes for Editors