|London, 19 June 2002.
For immediate release.
These rules have recently been attacked by the Transport Select Committee, who have suggested that the Government is bowing to unreasonable pressure from the motoring lobby and that the guidelines will harm safety.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
When speed cameras were first legalised in the early '90s, the Government promised that they would be clearly visible and sited in proven speed related accident blackspots.
Right from the start this was not the case - cameras were hidden behind signs and bridges, in bushes and placed on safe roads with no accident history.
"The speed camera lobby have succeeded in hijacking the whole road safety debate, using cameras to enforce general speed reductions for social reasons rather than in specific safety related situations," said ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries. "Meanwhile, much needed road engineering improvements have been shelved and driver training has been neglected. No wonder road deaths are up."
ALL THE GOVERNMENT HAS DONE IS TO ENSURE THAT CAMERAS DO THEIR JOB OF SLOWING DRIVERS AT ACCIDENT BLACKSPOTS - HOW CAN THE TRANSPORT SELECT COMMITTEE POSSIBLY OBJECT TO THIS?
The guidelines for siting cameras do not go anything like far enough to ensure that safety benefits are maximised. For example, there is no requirement on the authorities to prove that accidents are speed related before a camera can be used. So the way is still open for the actual causes of the accidents to be ignored in the insane "dash for cash" seen in counties such as Northamptonshire and Essex, where road deaths are also up.
The ABD calls for the Government to stand firm on the use of cameras for genuine road safety objectives, and to strengthen the rules requiring cameras to be sited where they will do the most good.