Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Burying the Myths about Speed Traps

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Burying the Myths about Speed Traps

Article excerpt

Byline: By David Jamieson

The Government welcomes the opportunity to contribute to The Journal's Safety First investigation into speed cameras.

Ten years after they were first introduced, we believe it is time to bury some myths about roadside cameras, and to establish once and for all the essential role they play in helping to keep death and injury off our roads.

All our road safety policies are designed to protect the overwhelming majority of motorists who do not break the law.

We acknowledge that many motorists today remain unconvinced about the true worth of the cameras, and all too often they are portrayed as revenue-earners rather than life-savers.

But we believe the case for safety cameras is stronger than it has ever been, and remain absolutely determined to explain our position to all road users.

Let's start with the basic facts ( as published recently in a major report evaluating the first three years of safety camera schemes across the country, independently produced by University College London.

The results are striking:

There was a 40pc fall in serious injuries and deaths at sites after cameras were installed. This equates to 100 fewer road deaths a year across the country.

There was a fall in injuries at camera sites by 4,030 a year. The number of vehicles speeding at new camera sites dropped by 71pc. There was a 35pc fall in pedestrian injuries or deaths at monitored sites.

In the third year of the analysis, the benefits to society from the avoided injuries were in excess of pounds 221m.

Most people support cameras in their local community. Almost 80pc of people asked said they supported the use of cameras to reduce casualties.

I am very pleased to see The Journal emphasise that it will not defend speeding on our roads.

The Government is not only answerable to motorists, but to parents who have lost young children on busy local roads, or to the families of pedestrians mown down by a speeding vehicle.

We take our responsibilities very seriously ( and that includes our responsibilities to motorists. Speed limits are enforced for the good of motorists as well as pedestrians. …

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