Speed cameras could 'increase risk of crashes' according to new research

Speed cameras could 'increase risk of crashes' according to new research

New research by the RAC Foundation has suggested that speed cameras could increase the risk of fatal and serious accidents in some areas.

The study used data released as part of a Government order to councils to make speed camera operation more transparent to the general public.
The data details accident statistics before and after fixed speed cameras were installed.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, noted: "Crucially the study has identified a number of camera sites in the vicinity of which collisions seem to have risen markedly. "This may or may not be related to the cameras but warrants further investigation. Therefore, on the basis of this study, we have now written to a number of local authorities suggesting they examine the positioning and benefits of a total of 21 cameras."

But two thirds of safety-camera partnerships - comprised of councils, police, courts and road safety groups - have so far failed to publish, as demanded two years ago by the Government - meaning the true extent of the problem could be markedly worse.

As a result of the research, the RAC Foundation has written to speed camera bosses in the areas it feels hosts some of the riskiest camera spots, these include: Cambridge and Peterborough where four risky cameras have been identified, Merseyside with 9 risky cameras, South Yorkshire (1), Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent (3), Sussex (1), Thames Valley (1) and Warwickshire (2).

The RAC commissioned Professor Richard Allsop of University College London, who has a first in mathematics from Cambridge University and two doctorates, to decipher the information and he found the data shows that on average the number of fatal and serious collisions in their vicinity fell by more than a quarter (27 per cent) after the installation of cameras.

There was also an average reduction of 15 per cent in personal injury collisions in their vicinity.

But the RAC Foundation also notes: "The research also highlights 21 camera sites in these areas at which, or near which, the number of collisions appears to have risen enough to make the cameras worthy of investigation in case they have contributed to the increases."

Speaking to the Daily Mail, a Merseyside Road Safety Camera Partnership spokesman refuted the claims, stating: "There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that any of these sites have caused a collision and in fact these figures if anything suggest the opposite.

"Since 2005 we have continually monitored all our camera sites and these sites have shown a 42% reduction in all injury collisions and a 71% reduction in killed and seriously injured collisions."
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