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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 December 2005, 12:56 GMT
Rise in speed cameras set to end
A speed camera in Worcester
Money may go to other road safety measures
The government is putting the brakes on the spread of speed cameras on the roads of England and Wales.

Transport Secretary Alistair Darling said that from 2007/08 money from speeding fines will no longer go simply on more speed cameras.

It will instead fund other road safety measures and better warning signs.

Motoring groups have welcomed the move, with the RAC Foundation saying cameras "should not be the first and last resort for road safety."

There will also be new requirements to improve the signposting of cameras, of which there are 6,000 in the UK.

And the transport secretary announced a local authority to review of all speed limits on their A and B roads by 2011.

Speed cameras in Wales will become the responsibility of the Welsh National Assembly from the end of 2007/08.

'Clear proof'

As well as announcing the new measures, Mr Darling was launching a government-commissioned report on camera effectiveness.

22% reduction in personal injury collisions (4,230 fewer per annum)
42% reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured (1,745 fewer per annum)
70% fall in vehicles exceeding the speed limit (at fixed camera sites)

Source: Four-year report on camera effectiveness

Researchers from University College London and PA Consulting visited 4,000 camera sites across the UK over a four-year period.

They found there was a 42% reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured at camera sites and 22% fewer personal injury collisions.

Mr Darling said the report provided "clear proof" that safety cameras save lives, but he said he wanted cameras to be linked more closely to wider road safety.

'Better education'

Motoring groups welcomed the new measures.

"Road and junction layout, clearer signing of limits, and better driver education all have a role to play," said Edmund King, of the RAC Foundation.

The AA Motoring Trust agreed, saying that dividing the debate up into pro and anti-camera lobby groups "misses the point".

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The trust's Andrew Howard said: "The reality is that speed cameras work alongside other measures... but are not the universal remedy some advocates claim."

Before the official announcement, Mr Darling told BBC News authorities often chose to install new cameras as they were effectively free, being run with funds fines.

He said: "I believe it is time to look at the way in which we fund road safety so that when you have got councils and police looking at a particular site, they consider all the options open to them."

He said he hoped the changes would allow authorities to take a broader approach to road safety.

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