Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Speed Cameras: How Many Must Die?

Recently I asked the question: how many people must die before the Coalition understand the benefit of speed cameras?
The answer to that question is 800 a year, according to a survey by Professor Richard Allsop commissioned by the RAC foundation.

'Road Safety' Minister Mike Penning is furiously trying to back-pedal. He protested: "We ended central government funding for new fixed speed cameras because we don't believe we should dictate to councils that they use them as the default solution in reducing accidents."

This is sophistry. Teresa Villiers said in October 2009:

Ladies and gentlemen, a Conservative Government would not fund any new fixed speed cameras because they are not the best way to make our roads safer. If local authorities want new cameras they’ll have to prove nothing else works better and they’ll have to find the money themselves..I believe that fixed speed cameras have reached their high watermark in this country. It’s time to put a stop to Labour’s cash cow camera culture. Electing a Conservative Government would signal the end of the relentless expansion of fixed speed cameras. It’s time to say, ‘enough is enough’.

The party of which Mike Penning is a member couldn't be more clear about their opposition to fixed speed cameras. They thought they could buy a few votes by pandering to the motor lobby, in a triumph of lowest-common-denominator populism over evidence. Blood on asphalt is evidence that's rather harder to ignore.

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