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Speed camera bosses lose video said to show cameras cause crashes

Published: 18 June 2008

Speed camera bosses claim to have lost video footage said to show that cameras cause crashes.

The footage – showing cars braking heavily and crashing as they approach a speed camera – appeared on the BBC news website but vanished after critics claimed the crashes were caused by the camera. It was also aired on BBC Breakfast news on April 21.

MCN submitted a Freedom of Information request for the footage to Norfolk camera bosses after the BBC refused to hand it over

 But camera chiefs claim not to have kept a copy of the DVD handed to the BBC and say the “source images” are lost “amongst thousands” of others.

MCN’s request stated the footage showed cars crashing approaching a camera and gave the date it was aired.

John Fairey, manager of Norfolk Safety Camera Partnership, wrote in response: “We have never had a copy of the DVD we gave to the BBC. We do not know how many images/sequences and which images/sequences were given to the BBC.

"We never recorded the BBC news item from the TV and therefore have nothing to be able to view to help. We do not know how much the BBC showed of what we gave them. We have no information to enable us to identify the sequences.

"We will have all the source images somewhere amongst thousands."

Sheila Rainger, deputy director of the RAC Foundation and a keen biker, said motorcyclists as vulnerable road users had a right to see any possible evidence that speed cameras cause crashes.

She said it was “odd” that Fairey had been unable locate the footage. “It makes it look like there’s something to hide,” she said.

To read about five other potential cases of speed cameras causing crashes, get MCN, on sale June 18.