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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 10:15 
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3807325.stm

Cameras 'save 100 lives a year'

The spread of electronic speed enforcement has been controversial
Speed cameras are saving 100 lives every year, according to a government study published on Tuesday.
The three-year study of accident rates on roads with cameras shows a 40% cut in the number of people killed and seriously injured.

The number of cameras in England and Wales is growing. There are now around 5,000 fixed speed cameras and sites where mobile cameras are often located.

Ministers hope the latest figures will help counter the cameras' unpopularity.

Distracted

Paid for by the proceeds from speeding fines, the spread of electronic speed enforcement has been controversial.

Paul Smith, of Safe Speed road safety campaign, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme drivers were becoming less attentive because of speed cameras.

We've got rises in drink drive accidents because police are concentrating on speed

Paul Smith
Road campaigner
"Drivers are distracted, they are looking at their speedometers, they are looking at and for cameras.


"When they are doing those things they are not looking at the road ahead," he said.

He also claimed that the police were distracted by cameras.

"We've got rises in drink drive accidents because police are concentrating on speed."

But Transport Secretary Alistair Darling told BBC News there had been a 40% reduction in serious injuries and deaths at camera sites.

"When people see the figures they will be able to see for each camera site why they were put there because we will show the number of deaths and serious injuries in the three years before they were set up, and the after figures as well.

"People can judge for themselves. If a camera site isn't working, or people say 'look I can't see why that camera site is there', then the police need to look at it."

Other offences

Mr Darling added that 10 people every day are killed on the UK's roads for a number of reasons.

"Of course we have got to look at other offences on the roads, dangerous driving, people who are driving without insurance or MOT.

"But in the overwhelming majority of cases cameras have worked."

Answering criticism that the cameras were largely a money-making scheme, Mr Darling said that total fine receipts were £68m, of which £54m was spent on running costs of cameras.

"The best camera is the one that doesn't raise a single penny because it is encouraging people to slow down," he added.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 10:46 
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The Today Programme segment is here

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenagain/

starting at about 7:50am


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 14:14 
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Please note that if you look at the website article now, it's been updated and Paul is no longer quoted there. Has pressure been brought to bear from on high?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:42 
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After running this pro camera news storry channel 5 had a poll

Do you think Speed cameras save lives?
56% said NO!

I wonder what the score would have been with a balanced view?


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