5/19/2005UK Gov't: Cameras Haven't Reduced Speeding, Accidents
Full text of UK Department for Transport report showing no change in the speeds drivers travel since speed cameras were introduced.
Government statistics released this week from the UK Department for Transport undermine the claim that the devices have been effective in reducing vehicle speeds nationwide. According to the report, "The average recorded vehicle speeds hardly changed from those observed in previous years."
"The average speed of cars on motorways (71 mph) has remained about the same since 1998," the report continues. "The proportion of cars exceeding the speed limit fell slightly in 2004 to 56 per cent compared with 57 per cent in 2003."
The new figures represent the average of 825 million vehicle speed measurement taken at 190 sites throughout Great Britain in 2004. Areas with long-term road construction were excluded from the study.
"Speed enforcement has completely lost touch with reality," said Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign. "Clearly the camera partnerships are not making the roads safer, yet, meanwhile, millions of drivers are being penalised for doing exactly what we need them to do, and that's drive at a safe and appropriate speed according to the conditions."
Department of Transport statistics also showed an increase in crashes on roads in Tayside, Scotland, despite the use of camera enforcement. The area experienced 320 fatal crashes in 1993, but 368 crashes this year. Injury accidents climbed to 1453 from 1398.
The full text of the report is available below in a 420k PDF file.
More than half of all cars observed at the survey sites on motorways exceeded the speed limit and 19 percent were travelling at more than 80 mph. 28 percent of motorcycles travelled at more than 80 mph, the same as in 2003.