6,000 speed cameras in the UK, producing around £90 Million in fines each year
We seem to be looking at speed cameras a lot this month as new reports and stories seem to unfold. The latest data comes following the DfT calling on local authorities to publish statistics about accident and causality rates both before and after the installation of speed cameras.
Makes some strange reading, but briefly, in Humberside, accidents actually increased at 17 of its 89 speed camera locations, whilst Thames Valley saw increases in crashes at 7 of its 44 locations and Cambridgeshire saw 4 of its 47 locations jump in numbers.
Remember, this is a before and after thing and whilst these figures should be inexplicable, it also has to infer without saying that in the locations where the numbers didn’t go up or where accident rates remained the same, or possibly reduced, these locations are doing a good job.
The deadline for councils to publish their figures was 20th July 2011 and we understand almost half of them have failed to do so as yet. Mike Pennington who is the Road Safety Minister says this is an opportunity for residents to hold councils to account to get these cameras that are ineffective, turned off. Possibly that’s true, but with councils failing to respond, how will anyone know how effective a camera site near them might be?
The RAC said they always said there should be more transparency in regard to the performance of speed cameras and this move is long overdue (even more so that some 72 councils hadn’t responded!).
Most drivers hate speed cameras and there is around 6,000 of them in the UK, producing around £90 Million in fines each year, so a good few of us are getting caught. However that’s not the bigger picture, as these cameras were installed to reduce accidents, save lives and generally make our roads a safer place to be and if they are not doing their job, they should unquestionably be replaced with other measures that do work, but until we get the stats, we can’t arrive at any site by site conclusions.
This isn’t about getting rid of speed cameras, it’s about what works best to keep us safe and if speed cameras do it best, that’s fine, however if not, they should be replaced with something that does work and hopefully, when the DfT have the full data, that’s exactly what will happen.