4/18/2005UK: Accidents Used to Justify Camera Not Speed Related
A12 Kelvedon speed cameras justified by accidents having nothing to do with speed.
UK speed camera guidelines require that the devices only be used on roads with a significant accident history so that all appearances of revenue raising are avoided. Following these rules, local officials installed cameras on the A12 near Kelvedon after citing five serious accidents that occurred between July 1999 and June 2002. Police reports obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, however, show that the five accidents cited by the Essex Safety Camera Partnership were actually caused by factors unrelated to speed. Three of them involved crashes with stationary vehicles. In the fourth, an intoxicated pedestrian was hit by the side mirror of a passing truck. In the fifth a man lost control in a curve. Overall, the factors involved were "impaired vision and being under the influence of drugs to the involvement of a foreign driver and reversing without due care and attention." UK's FOIA law came into effect this January.
In the last fiscal year, Essex speed cameras generated £5,116,140 (US $9,724,431) in revenue. "The fact that road deaths continue to increase is a real cause for concern and we will continue to use the full range of tactics available to us," the Partnership explained.
The revelation has fuelled suspicions among motorists that speed cameras are little more than money-making devices, but the organisation that runs them insisted it had acted according to Home Office guidelines and its main aim was to reduce casualties.Source: EADT inquiry into speed camera site (East Anglian Daily Times (UK), 4/18/2005)
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