BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Politics  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 19 June, 2002, 15:32 GMT 16:32 UK
Speed camera rules 'will cause deaths'
Speed camera
All speed cameras are to be painted yellow
People will die because of new government moves to make speed cameras more visible and restrict them to accident blackspots, MPs have warned.

The alert, from the powerful Commons transport select committee, also comes with stinging criticism of the government for making "slow progress" on reducing road casualties.


We do have a very odd attitude to road deaths in this country

Gwyneth Dunwoody
Its report - which comes only a month after it made a scathing attack on the government's 10-year transport plan - calls for speed cameras to cover the whole country by 2004.

But the MPs behind it also blame the media for hampering efforts against speeding by portraying it as a nuisance, rather than a cause of unnecessary deaths.

And they have called on the government to show proper leadership over the issue, and to "make it very clear that speeding is unacceptable".

Committee chairman Gwyneth Dunwoody told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We do have a very odd attitude to road deaths in this country.
Gwyneth Dunwoody, chairman of the Commons transport select committee
Gwyneth Dunwoody has led MPs' criticism of transport policy

"If you kill nearly 3,500 people every year in this country, either in any other form of transport or by some form of public health problem, everybody would be screaming for action.

"There is a direct connection between speed and road deaths."

Transport Minister John Spellar told the same programme that there had been progress on reducing road deaths but acknowledged there was more to be done.

He said that was particularly the case on rural roads where the number of head-on crashes remained a concern.

Teenage tragedy

The transport committee describes as "unreasonable" new rules meaning speed cameras must be painted yellow and imposing limits on where they can be sited.

"Crashes do not just occur at accident blackspots," says the report.

"There was no scientific research to support this decision. People will die as a result."

In 2000, 3,400 people were killed on the UK's roads but MPs say that number could be reduced to less than 1,000 with the right measures.

"Recent pandering to a vociferous motoring lobby has obscured the simple truth - speeding traffic kills.

Paul Hamblin
Council for Protection of Rural England

The number of serious injuries is falling, says the report, but deaths have been at the same high level for several years.

The report was welcomed by Paul Kerr, who lost his teenage son to a speeding driver.

He told BBC News: "It's in my face every day and people have to realise it could happen to them."

Among the report's other conclusions are:

  • make speed limits 30mph through villages
  • scrap national speed limit signs and use numbers
  • use more 20mph speed limits
  • no further cuts to traffic police
  • media should help highlight the problem
  • accidents cost the country 17bn a year
  • most likely speeders are young, professional males
  • tougher penalties for speeding

RAC Foundation executive director Edmund King said the committee seemed to want more speed cameras hidden away and more restrictions on motorists.

But a Department for Transport spokesman said painting cameras yellow would encourage drivers to slow down and assure them they were not a revenue-raising mechanism.

The department also said moves had been made towards the target of cutting the number of people killed or seriously injured by 40% by 2010.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Ben McCarthy
"Safety campaigners are looking to the government to ensure the measures are introduced"

Talking PointFORUM
Speed cameras
Ask road safety expert LIVE NOW
See also:

26 May 02 | UK Politics
30 Jan 02 | UK Politics
01 Oct 01 | Wales
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


E-mail this story to a friend



© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes