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8/4/2006
UK to Drop Construction Zone Speed Cameras
UK Department for Transport drops speed cameras from construction zones.

Speed display sign
The UK Department for Transport (DfT) will replace speed cameras in work zones with laser-activated signs that display an estimate of a motorist's speed without issuing a ticket. Although the agency does not admit the speed camera policy had failed, an unreleased DfT report obtained last year under the freedom of information act showed conventional speed cameras caused a 55 percent increase in collisions.

"Speed cameras don't work, and I'm very relieved to hear that we will not be using them as often in the future," said Safe Speed founder Paul Smith, who uncovered the 2004 accident report. "However, part of the problem is an excessive degree of focus on numerical vehicle speed and it seems we will have to wait some more before Department for Transport wakes up to reality."

UK Highways Agency officials only admit that the speed display signs are more effective than the cameras, encouraging half of drivers to match the posted speed, as opposed to less than a third with ticket cameras.

"Rather than simply punishing drivers with a £60 fine and three points, this appeals to their better nature," Richard Deacon, the contractor in charge of the M42 freeway told the London Times. "People tend not to like being shown up for behavior which puts others in danger."

Unlike speed display signs used in the United States, the UK signs employ automated number plate recognition (ANPR) to identify and display motorists' license plates along with their estimated speed. High speeds are not displayed to prevent drivers from attempting to set records. The devices, for now, do not record the movements of individual motorists.

Source: Speed camera that tells you off but doesnt take away your cash (London Times (UK), 8/4/2006)

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