Northampton

Northamptonshire road deaths fall to 'all-time low'

The number of road deaths in Northamptonshire fell to an all-time low in 2011, police figures show.

A total of 19 people were killed on the roads last year, down from 24 in 2010 and 34 in 2009.

The figures, the lowest since records began in 1960, coincided with the year the county's fixed speed cameras were switched off.

The Association of British Drivers said it shows that cameras are unnecessary. However, road charity groups disagree.

None of the fatalities took place within 50m (164ft) of the site of a fixed camera.

Keith Peat, of the Association of British Drivers, said the findings proved that speed cameras were unnecessary and saw "perfectly safe" drivers prosecuted for no reason.

"These cameras clock thousands of speeders... it's quite mercenary," he said.

'Complex issue'

It is an argument that David Williams, chief executive of road safety charity GEM, said was too simplistic.

"In this case you can't look in isolation over a short period of time and draw the conclusion that speed cameras are not effective," he said. "It's a complex issue.

"Speed cameras are one of the many tools used to ensure that motorists abide by the laws of the road. You can't isolate them.

"In the last year alone, 1800 people have died on the country's roads - we should be looking at what more we can do, not switching them off."

Northamptonshire councillor Andre Gonzales De Savage suggested the cameras "were possibly placed in the wrong areas".

A spokesman from Northamptonshire police said the force was committed to road safety.

"We remain committed to reducing road casualties and have set up a safer roads police team to concentrate on the targeted use of mobile safety cameras across the county," he said.

"Northamptonshire Police and the county council will continue to work collaboratively on road safety issues to maintain a joined-up approach".

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