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8/7/2005
Study: Speed Cameras Do Nothing in Freeway Construction Zones
UK government-sponsored study shows speed cameras have no effect in construction zone.

Roadworks
As the state of Illinois is about to begin enforcing lowered work zone speed limits on freeways with speed cameras, a newly-uncovered report concludes the technology has been completely ineffective in the UK. "The study showed that there was no significant difference in the rate of Personal Injury Accidents when road works were present on the motorway," reads the summary prepared by the Transport Research Laboratory. "No significant difference was observed in the Personal Injury Accident rate for sites with and without speed cameras."

The study, which was funded by the UK Highways Agency, compared accident reports covering 29 highway construction zone projects over 730km of road from November 2001 to July 2003 with three prior years without the construction zones. The report's findings are so contrary to government policy that the Association of British Drivers charges that the Department for Transport intentionally hid the report, which had been completed in 2004. A member of the public may only see a copy of the full study after paying a £40 fee.

"This is rapidly becoming a farce," said ABD Chairman Brian Gregory. "Time and again we have to drag information out of camera partnerships -- damaging information they'd rather keep in the dark. There is a culture of spin and secrecy that hides the true causes of crashes and the total lack of effectiveness of speed cameras from
the public."

Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign requested the information using the Freedom of Information Act law that went into effect at the beginning of the year. "It is outrageous that partnerships continue to operate speed cameras in motorway roadworks claiming that they are required to 'protect the workforce', when science clearly tells us that motorway road works are not specially dangerous and speed cameras don't help at all," Smith said.

In 2002, five construction workers were killed and 105 injured while working on UK freeways.

Copy of the summary available in 450k PDF format below.

Source: PDF File Safety Performance of Traffic Management at Major Motorway Road Works (Transport Research Laboratory, 8/5/2005)

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