Safety groups’ ‘misleading’ speed camera claims

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Safety groups have been accused of ‘misleading’ the public over claims speed cameras save lives.

A joint statement from groups including the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the AA and national cycling body CTC said: ‘Speed cameras help to save lives - an estimated 100 lives a year in the UK.’

But the study cited as the source does not contain the claim.

The DfT’s National Safety Camera Programme Four-Year Evaluation Report said deaths had fallen by 100 at camera sites but did not conclude cameras had caused the reduction.

Critics said there would have been a fall regardless because cameras had been placed at sites where casualties had been unusually high.

A RoSPA spokesman admitted the study did not report cameras saved 100 lives a year. He said: “That’s why we said they’d ‘helped’ saved lives.” 

A spokesman for the RAC, which is calling for an audit of all speed cameras, said: “I would say that’s slightly misleading.” 

The statement backing speed cameras was issued after the devices were switched off in Oxfordshire and Wiltshire due to government funding cuts. More regions are expected to follow.

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Steve Farrell

By Steve Farrell