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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 19:39 
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This is one of THREE articles in the same paper - I can't find the other two on line at present.

http://www.westpress.co.uk/displayNode. ... PK=9478455

SPEED TRAPS ARE CREATING CAR ZOMBIES


09:45 - 05 April 2004

An Obsession with being caught by speed cameras is killing people rather than saving lives, it was sensationally claimed last night. Motoring campaigners say the recent boom in the hated roadside traps has created a nation of "zombie" drivers who don't look where they're going.

Yesterday they seized on new Government figures, which concede that absent-minded drivers are in fact twice as likely to cause a crash as those who merely break the speed limit.

"Road safety policy is completely ridiculous, and it's killing us," said Paul Smith, founder of pressure group Safe Speed.

"When you stick up cameras everywhere, drivers spend a whole lot of time looking out for them and checking their speedometers, when they should be keeping their eyes on the road."

Tony Vickers, of the Association of British Drivers, is also critical. "Speed cameras undermine road safety," he said.

"Motorists are being trained to think they will be safe as long as they stick to the limit, because speed kills. As a result, people are simply engaging in zombie driving. They have lost their intuition and observational skills."

Campaigners say soon-to-be-released national statistics will show that road deaths rose by just over six per cent between 2002 and 2003 - the first rise in decades.

A new Department for Transport report concedes that excessive speed was actually only the seventh most common contributory factor in road accidents in 2001.

Top of the list were "inattention", which contributed to more than a quarter of accidents, and other human errors such as failing to judge the path of another car.

The camera backlash continued when vigilantes destroyed equipment in Coalpit Heath, Bristol early on Saturday morning.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 21:22 
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A Similar Article in The Bristol Evening Post...

http://www.epost.co.uk/displayNode.jsp? ... PK=9479910

SPEED CAMERA 'HAZARD'


12:31 - 05 April 2004

Campaigners say motorists obsessed with watching for speed traps and 'hidden' cameras are causing more accidents than drivers breaking the speed limit. They say Government statistics show poor attention and human error is more likely to cause a crash, and excess speed accounts for only one in eight collisions.

Pressure groups say the boom in roadside cameras is creating "zombie" drivers who spend more time looking for cameras than they do focusing on driving.

Research by the Safe Speed campaign group, based on analysis of soon-to-be-released Department for Transport statistics, showed the most common cause of accidents was failing to pay attention, followed by a failure to judge another driver's path or speed correctly.

It shows absent-minded drivers are twice as likely to cause a crash as those who break the speed limit, which has lead campaigners to suggest that the policy of vastly increasing the number of speed cameras to make roads safer is pointless.

Paul Smith, founder of the pressure group, said: "Road safety policy is completely ridiculous, and it's killing us.

"When you stick up cameras everywhere, drivers spend a lot of time looking out for them when they should be keeping their eyes on the road. The authorities must now acknowledge that the 'speed kills' policy is not benefiting road safety."

Tony Vickers, of the Association of British Drivers, said: "There is no doubt speed cameras undermine road safety.

"Motorists are being trained to think they will be safe as long as they stick to the limit, because speed kills.

"As a result, people are simply engaging in zombie driving. They have lost their intuition and observational skills."

Campaigners say the national statistics will show road deaths rose by more than six per cent between 2002 and 2003 - the first rise in decades.

Despite this, the Avon, Somerset and Gloucestershire Safety Camera Partnership, has vowed to continue trapping speeders.

David Gollicker, Safety Camera Partnership spokesman , said: "There's no evidence to suggest that we have got it wrong. Our figures show we are driving collisions down and we will continue to target speeders."

====================================

Regarding that last bit, the words: "head buried in the sand" come to mind. I can't think why! :)

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Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
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