7/25/2005UK Stats Show More Speed Cameras Produce More Fatalities
UK Department for Transport statistics show road fatalities rise as more and more speed cameras are installed.
UK Department for Transport statistics show that road deaths have increased where speed cameras are most prevalent. In Cumbria, for example, when the number of speed camera sites grew by 48 percent the number of fatal accidents increased by 17 percent.
Before Cumbria's speed camera partnership was formed in 2003, the area experienced 49 fatal road accidents in two consecutive years. But as soon as 33 speed camera sites became active, fatalities jumped to 54. Last year, with 49 speed camera sites there were 57 fatalities.
"We see this pattern again and again," explained Safe Speed road safety campaign founder Paul Smith. "In places where speed cameras are heavily used road deaths often increase. Drivers pay more attention to their speedometers when they should be paying more attention to the road ahead."
Nationwide, road deaths dropped eight percent to 3221 fatalities last year in the UK. Yet some of the most substantial drops occurred in areas without speed camera partnerships. In Durham and North Yorkshire, fatalities dropped 24 and 9 percent respectively. In the areas with the most speed cameras, deaths increased substantially. North Wales fatalities jumped 18 percent and Wales overall rose 16 percent. Hertfordshire fatalities grew 34 percent and Wiltshire grew by 22 percent.
"Road safety in the UK is being mismanaged and widely misunderstood," Smith said. "The modern emphasis on vehicle speeds is so wide of the mark that it would be laughable if it wasn't so tragic."
The full Department for Transport fatality statistics are available in a 277k PDF file below.