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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 April, 2004, 10:25 GMT 11:25 UK
Group slams speed camera 'policy'
Speed camera
Speeding is the seventh most frequent cause of road crashes in UK
Tackling road safety with speed cameras is a waste of time, according to a campaign group.

Safe Speed said government figures showed speeding was the seventh most frequent cause of UK road accidents.

Inattention and poor judgement of other drivers' speeds were more likely to lead to accidents, figures suggested.

Safe Speed said the 'speed kills' policy was not helping road safety and was "a policy wasted".

The Department of Transport figures showed inattentive and careless drivers and drivers failing to look were more likely factors in road accidents than excessive speeding.

Failure to judge other's path or speed
Looking but not seeing
Careless and reckless behaviour
Failure to look
Lack of judgement of own path
Excessive speed
Source: Department of Transport

Campaign founder Paul Smith said: "The modern emphasis on speed-limit enforcement by cameras risks increasing these common accident types.

"The authorities must now acknowledge that 'speed kills' road safety policy backed with speed cameras is not benefiting road safety.

"The policy is wasted on attempting to solve a problem that simply does not exist," he added.

In the government report, speeding as a cause included excessive speeds as well as driving at inappropriate speeds according to conditions.

The Safe Speed group said data from Avon and Somerset police showed 70% of "excessive speed" cases took place within the speed limit.

In Norfolk, an investigation is underway to review a partnership team charged with monitoring speed cameras following motorists' accusations that cameras are sited to raise revenue, not save lives.

But Partnership Board Chairman Supt Mark Veljovic said: "Over the last three years the figures show that where speed cameras have been sited there has been a 60% reduction in casualties in the county."

Paige Mitchell, of the Slower Speeds Initiative, also rejects Safe Speed's claims.

"It makes sense for the police to use cameras to target speeding drivers.

"There is a relationship between speed and crashes. Slower speeds make for a more forgiving road environment - whatever mistakes you make are less likely to be fatal."

Police target speeding motorists
01 Apr 04  |  Scotland
Speeders to view offence online
29 Mar 04  |  Wiltshire

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