England

Speed cameras across England show mixed results

Casualty rates have worsened at some speed camera sites since they were installed, new figures have shown.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has published the data as part of a drive to increase transparency.

Information also showed some camera partnership scheme operators reported a reduction in accidents and injuries due to the introduction of cameras.

The mixed results come from 75 local authorities which have so far revealed some or all of their information.

Of those, 46 have published full data, with the other 29 publishing partial data. And 72 local authorities have not published any data, or not enough for the effectiveness of the camera sites to be judged.

Figures for a camera in Castle Hill, Parkstone, Poole, in Dorset, showed there were more slight-injury casualties at the spot after the camera was installed in 2003.

There were nine slight-injury casualties at a camera on the A605 at Elton near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire in 2009, the highest figures for any year since 1990.

'Cash cows'

But Lancashire Partnership for Road Safety said its overall results showed that where cameras were located, vehicle speeds and crashes had reduced.

The Safer Roads Humber scheme said that over the period 2003 to 2010 there had been a 58% reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured at its camera sites, as well as a 11% reduction in average speeds at the sites.

Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said: "Motorists deserve to know whether the cameras are being used appropriately or not, now the information will be there for everyone to see.

"The war on the motorist is over, we want to reduce accidents but we do not want these cameras used as cash cows."

He added: "Residents can only hold their council to account if it has made information available so I would urge those councils which have not yet published their data to do so as soon as possible."

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: "This data must be used with care.

"The best speed cameras deliver lower speeds and fewer casualties without catching lots of drivers out.

Pointless exercise

"Any camera that consistently issues tickets clearly has location or signposting issues, no camera should ever be removed without a clear education or engineering solution to replace it."

The DfT said police forces would also be publishing the number of prosecutions arising from each permanent or long-term temporary fixed camera site in their area each year.

They will also reveal the total number of offences recorded by all cameras and the total number of offenders given a fixed-penalty notice, or taken to court, and the number of people opting to complete speed awareness courses.

RAC motoring strategist Adrian Tink said: "Unless this information is acted upon by local authorities then it becomes a pointless exercise.

"We've long called for a full audit of individual speed cameras, ensuring we keep the cameras that make a difference and replace those that don't with other safety measures."

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