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Bad policy increases road deaths

A road safety organisation is claiming road deaths have risen by 2.25% as a result of speed cameras and flawed Government policies.

"Why are road deaths rising while speed cameras are spreading like a virus?" says Safe Speed. “It is no surprise to us that road deaths have risen - they are following a trend that we have been predicting for several years.”

Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign, says: "We are told that speed cameras save lives, but the figures are hopelessly flawed. It is very important to our road safety system that drivers slow down in areas of danger.

“But all the indications point to speed cameras eroding this vital driver behaviour, and this is one of the most important factors that has lead to the rise in road death. By contrast keeping to the speed limit is not a terribly important road safety behaviour. Our motorways are the safest roads in the world, yet on some quieter sections more than 90% of cars are exceeding the speed limit." From 1984 to 1993, before the widespread introduction of speed cameras, Road Safe says, total road deaths fell by 32% (from 55,99 to 3,814). In the subsequent decade to 2003 road deaths fell by just 3.8% (from 3,650 to 3,508).

"The focus on speed limits is dangerously simplistic. It sends completely the wrong messages. We must give all road users complete and accurate messages about the causes of road accidents, so that we can all guard against the right risks. Normal road users exceeding the speed limit is a real contributory factor in less than 2% of accidents," said Smith.

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