Camera stats under fire

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A special MCN investigation reveals that Government claims that speed cameras save lives are both unscientific and meaningless.

The full story is revealed in MCN out on Wednesday, June 23. Our probe discovers that the research the Government’s claims are based on is flawed. It only considers half of the country’s speed cameras, flouts the Government’s own research guidelines and conveniently ignores 700 camera sites where accident rates have actually GONE UP.

The research focused on sites where there had been exceptionally high accident rates. In these circumstances casualties were likely to drop whether speed cameras were put up or not.

Even the Department for Transport’s own Road Safety Good Practice Guide says that in sites like the ones used, “accidents will tend to reduce in the next year even if no treatment is applied.”

But the report made no allowance for this. Experts say the Government’s claims are the scientific equivalent of giving people sugar-cubes for flu, waiting until they get better, and then fanfaring sugar as a miracle treatment.

For proper results, according to the guide, sites where cameras had been installed should have been compared to similar sites where cameras hadn’t been installed. MCN has faced a tide of obstructive officials and spokespeople in trying to find someone to justify the report.

The author of the research refused to answer more than a few questions before clamming up and referring us to a spokesman for the National Safety Camera Partnership. And when we turned up the heat with the tough questions they hadn’t thought to consider, even their spokesman put the phone down on us and refused to respond to our calls.

According to a separate but less publicised DfT report looking at all the country’s speed camera sites, there are 743 where casualties have risen.

Read the full report. Only in MCN, out on Wednesday. Have Your Say now.

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MCN Staff

By MCN Staff