London, 2 May 2005.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

M4 Camera Partnership in Cash for Questions Row
The Camera Partnership behind the revenue-generating speed cameras on the M4 has been caught trying to rake in more money - by charging for information on the causes of accidents on the motorway.
As soon as the M4 cameras were announced, the Association of British Drivers approached speed camera bosses to find out what had caused the accidents that justified them. The Wiltshire and Swindon Speed Camera Partnership initially told the group that they did not hold data on what causes crashes - an astonishing admission which gives the lie to the claim that the cameras are there for safety reasons.
When the ABD pressed the point, the partnership said that it would have to search its database - and would charge £111.63 "per positive search result".
The ABD believes the Partnership may be deliberately trying to conceal the causes of crashes on the M4, perhaps because so few of them were due to drivers exceeding limits.
ABD Road Safety Spokesman Mark McArthur-Christie said
"Many people are unaware that Partnerships are allowed to impose cameras no matter what the causes of accidents - even where they have not been caused by exceeding a speed limit. But it is stunning that first they admit they don't know what causes crashes, then they try to charge £111 to reveal information that should already be in the public domain. They should have these figures at their fingertips. What are they trying to hide?"
Brian Gregory, ABD Chairman, takes up the story
"We've found time and again that camera partnerships will do anything to conceal the causes of crashes, because so few are down to exceeding a speed limit. It's time for the Partnerships to end their culture of secrecy and spin and just come clean. We want to see each partnership showing the causes of accidents that have led to cameras on their websites."
The ABD believes that this shows that camera partnerships are unaccountable and running out of control. McArthur-Christie concludes
"The UK's road safety policy has become obsessed with speed to the detriment of everything else. Having a camera policy which runs down traffic police departments and takes no account of the causes of crashes is like abolishing the NHS and replacing it with machines in every high street that just dispense aspirin no matter what the patient's complaint, and about as effective."



Notes for Editors