Deaths up despite gatsos

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Transport minister Stephen Ladyman has admitted in a commons debate that fatal accidents involving excessive speed have increased every year since 1999 despite the increased use of speed cameras.

Police forces around the UK continue to put increased emphasis on the use of ‘safety cameras’ but when asked directly in a House of Commons debate the minister revealed statistics that show an increase of 6 percent in the last five years in accidents where excessive speed was quoted as one of the contributing factors.

Excessive speed is one of the factors that police can use to describe the causes of accidents but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the driver was in going over the speed limit, just that they were driving too fast for the conditions.

Ladyman also revealed that the incidences of drink driving related accidents has soared as police patrols are directed away from road police in favour of using cameras.

In 1999 there were 400 fatal accidents where drink driving was sited as a factor, but by 2004 that number had risen to 530.

Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign said: “It’s no surprise to me that ‘excessive speed’crashes are increasing as speed cameras expand. Speed cameras give a series of false safety messages. One important false message is that ‘if you’re not exceeding the limit your speed is safe’. Nothing could be further from the truth, yet we have millions of motorists who now regard the speedometer as a barometer of safety.”

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MCN Staff

By MCN Staff