Latest Camera Whitewash from the Government
Drivers' Lives made a misery for nothing
The latest report claiming success for speed cameras is just one of a long line — from the inception of cameras in 1991, the authorities have produced study after study claiming that cameras reduce fatalities by up to 70%!
Trouble is, the overall number of deaths isn't falling. Britain has the WORST record in the EU at reducing road deaths since cameras became widespread, with deaths down just 4% from their 1994-8 average, compared with France down 12.6%, Germany down 22.9% and Portugal down 35.5%.
In the counties where cameras are most aggressivly used, road deaths have tended to increase. In Lincolnshire
and Thames Valley, deaths have increased dramatically since the "cash for cameras" schemes started. Northamptonshire showed an initial improvement, but has posted two of the three worst years in the last ten since being blanketed with cameras. In North Wales
, home of CC Richard Brunstrom, deaths were up last year.
"The price of this failure is high - lives have been lost that would have been saved by a more enlightened safety policy," said Mark McArthur-Christie, the ABD's Road Safety Spokesman. "Also, the quality of life for Britain's safest drivers has been drastically reduced, with millions of tickets being handed out in circumstances that are nothing at all to do with those that cause accidents. Drivers lives are being made a misery for nothing."
Studies claiming cameras are working are all based on very localised "Cherry Picked" statistics, which are wide open to distortions:
- Cameras are placed in response to a sudden random blip in accidents which is unlikely to be repeated.
- Roads are re-engineered at the same time the cameras are installed, meaning the accidents used to justify them physically cannot happen again.
The ABD has examples of local authorities fixing the figures to justify speed reduction measures - choosing "before" periods carefully, presumably to include as many accidents as possible, or even comparing different time periods or different stretches of road.
"Camera partnerships, local authorities and the Highways Agency all place every possible obstruction in the path of those who want to examine accident reports for themselves. They just won't release the data on which their claims for speed cameras are based, allowing them to make unsubstantiated claims and making those wanting to get to the truth about road safety work in the dark", continued McArthur-Christie. "They probably don't want to admit that they have made millions of peoples lives a misery for absolutely nothing."