London, 3 Sep 2002.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

Scrapping Speed Cameras and Speed Traps Equals Better Road Safety, Says the ABD
Today the Association of British Drivers calls for an immediate U-turn in the failing road safety policy that has seen more speed cameras and more speed traps but also more road deaths.
Despite claims by the authorities that the speed camera programme is working, this ABD summary of their impact amounts to a catalogue of shame for their proponents. It clearly shows how road safety is being compromised while revenue from fines is spiralling through the roof:
there are four times as many speed cameras on the country's safest roads as there are on the most dangerous roads
speed camera trials stopped after 1 year of a 2 year programme resulted in claims of 'success' for the first year, but the cameras made no difference to the long-term trend or made things worse - in one region, Essex, a reduction in fatalities of 20% was publicised, when the following year with even more cameras in place, fatalities rose by 40%
in 2001 compared to 2000, with the speed camera plague spreading plus more speed traps and more fines than ever before, 34 more people died on the roads and child fatalities rose by 14%
in police force areas where they have more speed cameras, more mobile speed traps and so issue more fines for speeding, the numbers killed or seriously injured dropped by 5%, but in areas with the fewest cameras, fewest speed traps and hence the least fines the figure fell by 22%, strongly suggesting that focusing on speed enforcement costs lives

Since the Transport Research Laboratory has shown that excessive speed causes only 4.3% of accidents and is a factor in 7%, not the one-third or higher figures touted by the speed-obsessed, these results should be no surprise. Speed cameras and traps are clearly earning the authorities huge sums of money, with the ABD revealing that the number of speed camera fines issued annually will break through the 1 million barrier for the first time.

Speed camera expansion, which will see a trebling of cameras and fine 'targets' of hundreds of millions of pounds each year, is all about revenue not road safety.

A very small number of speed cameras at specific sites could be acceptable in safety terms, and carry public opinion. But it's time to take Canada's lead and scrap failing speed cameras and speed traps, replacing them with traffic officers on patrol, who can tackle all types of dangerous behaviour by all road users. In this way the UK's roads - the busiest but safest in the world already - will see the additional safety gains we all want, saving lives.

Notes for Editors