London, 12 Apr 2005.
For immediate release.

Contact the ABD

Press Release

Wiltshire M4 Speed Camera Rip Off Shows Why Camera Partnerships Should be Abolished
Nothing to do with safety, everything to do with money

The decision of the Wiltshire Camera Partnership to use speed camera vans on the M4 is a clear demonstration of how spurious safety arguments are used as an excuse to raise money.
"Camera partnerships are locally based organisations," said ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries. "So if they catch too many local people on local roads, they lose the support of their constituents. A motorway is one great big gravy train for them, full of people who don't live in their area, who they can rip off without fear of any local political fallout. It's taxation without representation."
As usual with the camera partnerships, Wiltshire justify their actions by simply quoting the number of accidents that have occurred in a three year period.
But they make no attempt to explain why these accidents happened, or to demonstrate why slowing people from 85 to 75mph will make any difference.
"In fact, if you ask camera partnerships to release details of what caused the accidents that they are using to justify cameras, they won't tell you", continues Humphries. "How can keeping the causes of accidents a secret be consistent with an organisation thats supposed to be about improving safety?"
On a motorway, this scam is more obvious than elsewhere. Anyone can see that accidents on motorways are caused by inattention, tailgating and changing lanes without looking. The more serious ones are caused by the bored and inattentive drivers of speed limited trucks and coaches ploughing into the back of stationary traffic.
As the RAC foundation said, speed cameras are "irrelevant" to these accidents — in fact they make them worse by making drivers switch their cruise controls on and their brains off.
"This pattern of lying about the true causes of accidents to justify cameras is well established, and that's why road deaths are increasing in Britain rather than falling as the camera apologists predicted," concludes Humphries. "They work this scam on all roads, but the simplicity of a motorway makes it easier to expose. Camera partnerships have got a built-in financial incentive to indulge themselves in pointless speed enforcement to the detriment of safe, attentive driving, and that's why they should be abolished immediately."


Notes for Editors