London, 28th July 2004.
For immediate release.

Contact: Mark McArthur-Christie

Press Release

Road Safety Group Calls for Independent Speed Camera Investigation
Road safety group, the Association of British Drivers, today called for an independent investigation into the UK's 43 speed camera Partnerships. This comes as Norfolk's speed camera chief, Barry Parnell, resigned after apparently being shown a highly confidential report raising doubts about the placement of cameras in Norfolk.
According to media sources, the data used to justify some Norfolk cameras was "questionable and, in some cases, unavailable."
The ABD has, for some time, had serious concerns about the placement of many of the UK's speed cameras, and even greater concerns about their effectiveness in reducing crashes. This comes at a time when the number of road fatalities has increased by 2%, yet nearly 2.5 million speeding tickets have been issued generating £120 million in fines. One in every 5 drivers has been fined for speeding since 1996.
Mark McArthur-Christie, the ABD's Road Safety Spokesman, commented
"It's time the camera Partnerships came clean. We've had David Jamieson's assurance in March this year that cameras are correctly placed, followed by Alistair Darling's admission that they're not. Now we have a leading camera official resigning. It's time the Partnerships were made accountable and open to full, independent scrutiny."
As a consequence, the ABD has called for an independent audit into all the UK's speed camera Partnerships, the placement of their cameras, partnership finances, and camera effectiveness. ABD Chairman Brian Gregory comments
"There's clearly a pressing need for an independent audit of the Partnerships - not the internal reports we've seen to date. Asking the camera partnerships to audit themselves is quite bizarre. This is an area for the National Audit Office to investigate. If the Partnerships have nothing to hide they should welcome the NAO with open arms."


Notes for Editors