Gatso safety claims
The Government is claiming speed cameras save 100 lives a year despite figures which show that the number of accidents on British roads has hardly changed since 1998.
A new study covering a three-year period showed that accidents have been significantly reduced at sites with speed cameras, but the increase in the number of cameras has been at the expense of actual police patrolling our roads.
The result is that the total number of deaths on British roads has remained almost static since the introduction of cameras and the number of people killed where drink driving was a factor was at its highest for ten years in 2002.
Mark McArthur-Christie, the Road Safety Spokesman for the Association of British Drivers, said "The price of this failure is high - lives have been lost that would have been saved by a more enlightened safety policy."
He continued: "Camera partnerships, local authorities and the Highways Agency all place every possible obstruction in the path of those who want to examine accident reports for themselves. They just won't release the data on which their claims for speed cameras are based."
Transport Secretary Alistair Darling has also announced plans to prosecute drivers for going just two miles per hour over the speed limit. This could see riders slapped with a cumulative ban for several instances of riding at 32mph in a 30 zone.
There are currently around 5000 sites in the UK with fixed or mobile cameras but the head of road safety for the Association of Chief Police Officer (ACPO) has just announced that this number is set to increase by another 1000 sites despite concerns from ACPO that there is growing public anger at the number of 'money making' cameras on our roads.
In a bid to prove that speed cameras are not there to rake in money, forces in the West Midlands have teamed up with councils to produce a CD-ROM detailing the location of every camera site in the area. The CD will be distributed free to drivers but can also be found online on the website of the West Midlands Casualty Reduction Partnership.