20 Aug 2010.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

ABD Comments on Trowbridge Road Safety Partnership Closure Protest
Brake are organising a protest on Friday 20 August 2010 between 12:30 and 13:30 outside Trowbridge County Hall, Wiltshire. Bereaved mother Clare Brixey will lead a protest to tell Wiltshire Council that their decision to axe the local Road Safety Partnership and switch off speed cameras will lead to more blood on the roads.

ABD Chairman Brian Gregory said:
"It is ironic that Brake should use the example of the tragic death of Ashley Brixey to highlight their campaign to save cameras and partnerships."
Ashley died after a car he was a passenger in crashed into a garden swimming pool and overturned. The driver of the car was under the influence of drink and drugs. Ashley died from drowning 1. Had the swimming pool not been where it was, he might well have survived. His untimely death was thus a combination of drink/drug driving and a freak accident.

The accident occurred on the A36 at Limpley Stoke, Wiltshire. Precisely at 51°21'18.7"N 2°19'0.4"W 2. This is on an 80° left hand bend with diminishing radius, something that some competent road engineering should have sorted out decades ago. Ironically, Google Streetview, dated 2009, shows damage to the garden wall presumably caused by a then recent accident, indicating the basic road layout problem has still not been resolved by the council.

Brian Gregory continued:
“Brake seem to have great difficulty finding cases of sober licensed drivers crashing above the speed limit. As in so many cases of 'speeding', it turns out the crash was not CAUSED by exceeding a speed limit but by a combination of drink and drugs causing the driver to fail to adjust his speed for hazards. No speed limit or camera would have prevented this crash. What might have prevented it (other than being sober) would be the sort of education, resisted by Brake and the safety camera partnerships, that the ABD have always called for. Instead of educating youngsters to 'drive by numbers', we need to educate them to observe hazards and adjust speed to conditions.

We commend Ashley's mother Clare for campaigning against drink/drug driving and for speaking to schools about road safety, but to see her campaigning for speed cameras makes no sense to us. It would be more logical for her to campaign for diminishing radius bends to be re-engineered, or against swimming pools being built next to roads.”
The ABD believes that support for camera partnerships, that have been failing dismally for years, is misguided. Their methods simply do not work and they are fighting to save their empires assisted by the likes of Brake using misleading statistics. 3

1. Report on the accident from the time
2. Map of location
3. The 42% casualty reduction claim for speed cameras used by Brake has recently been withdrawn by the DFT as it made no allowance for 'regression to mean' or other factors such as much safer cars The Register: DfT 'unwittingly' bigged-up speed camera benefits
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