7/15/2005UK Speed Camera Freeze
UK puts a hold on new speed cameras until a study of alternatives is completed.
The UK Department for Transport sent a letter this week to local camera partnerships denying their request for 500 new speed cameras. The recently appointed Road Safety Minister, Stephen Ladyman, is conducting a review of speed camera rules and possible engineering alternatives to the devices. The Department is also waiting for an "independent" review of the existing cameras conducted by the University College of London. The results had been expected in June, but delays have postponed the report until later this year.
Statistics show a camera freeze have been in effect since last year. In 2003, the number of fixed and mobile speed camera sites jumped by a third, while in the last fiscal year growth stalled to just one percent. A moratorium is not enough for some activists.
"The UK's fine tradition of superior road safety cannot be fully restored while a single speed camera remains active on UK roads," said Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign. "They must go and go quickly."
Speed cameras in the UK have generated billions in revenue for the government and the insurance industry. As of this year, the UK has issued twelve million speed camera tickets, raising £700 million (US $1.3 billion) in revenue.
The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, which supports speed cameras, admitted yesterday that some may not be justified. Rob Gifford, the council's director, said: "In some cases a partnership may have chosen to install a camera when an engineering solution may have been better.Source: Speed camera U-turn as 500 sites rejected (London Times (UK), 7/15/2005)
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