1/17/2007UK Official Admits Cameras Cause Accidents
A speed camera boss in Norfolk, UK told BBC that the sight of speed cameras can cause collisions.
The top spokesman for speed camera operations in Norfolk, UK yesterday conceded that the sight of anything that appears to be a speed camera can cause accidents. Bryan Edwards, Communications Manager for the Norfolk Casualty Reduction Partnership, appeared on the BBC program Look East to discussed what happens when private individuals put up dummy speed cameras, which issue no tickets and generate no revenue, as a means of slowing down traffic on a particular road.
"What does concern me is of course if people put up fake cameras, motorists could be coming along at 70, think it is a camera, brake, or get distracted and that could actually cause a collision," Edwards said.
Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign pointed out that there is no difference between the reaction to a "fake" and a real camera. Smith suggested that sudden braking was just one of many negative unintended consequences of photo enforcement.
"It's long overdue that all the speed camera side effects were acknowledged and investigated," Smith said. "Everyone knows that there are serious side effects that can cause crashes, but I must say it is unusual to hear such an admission from a camera boss."
Smith argued that forcing drivers to pay excessive attention to their speedometer distracts them from watching the road for upcoming hazards.