4/5/2007Side Effects of Speed Camera Use Studied
A report documents the unintended consequences of speed camera use.
A new study has examined unexpected consequences that follow from the photographic enforcement of speed limits. The Safe Speed road safety campaign released its own findings following a decision last month by the UK Department for Transport to cancel planned research into the same topic.
"It is astonishing and grossly irresponsible that Department for Transport has canceled their important 'side effects' research," Safe Speed founder Paul Smith said. "I can only imagine that they were scared about the likely results and would rather save face than save lives."
The Safe Speed report catalogs forty major side effects, some obvious and some subtle. The report finds that at best, the best claim of road safety officials is an annual reduction in the UK death toll of 25 lives. Road deaths and hospitalizations, however, have not fallen as expected, leading Smith to estimate that the side effects are responsible for increasing the death toll far beyond what it would have been without cameras.
"Speed cameras are blunt instruments, at best, which have changed many things," the report concludes. "They have changed the things that drivers pay attention to and the things that they regard as important. They have changed the way that our roads are policed and damaged the relationship between police and public. They have brought the law itself into a degree of disrepute."
Read the full report in a 148k PDF file at the source link below.