In this week's Reader Rant opinion column Amy Aeron-Thomas, executive director of charity RoadPeace, argues the case for speed cameras improving road safety. Have your say by adding your comments below.
WITH the announcement Oxfordshire County Council was to stop funding safety cameras, the BBC has asked if it was the end of the road for speed cameras.
It could have equally asked it this was the end to evidence-based road safety policy, given the wealth of studies showing how cameras reduce speeding and casualties.
After the fourth national safety camera evaluation in 2005 confirmed the findings of the three previous studies, the government stopped documenting the effectiveness of cameras at the national level. Extensive research had proven cameras reduced speeding, crashes and casualties, with 42 per cent fewer people killed and seriously injured at camera sites.
There is no new evidence to suggest cameras are ineffective.
What has ended is the choice of the local councils to choose how they spend their transport grant. Since 2007, local councils have had discretion as to how they spent their money.
The coalition government has now decided for them and is not allowing them to use any of the grant for safety cameras.
If the Conservatives are serious about listening to communities, then speed enforcement will continue to be important.
Speeding vehicles was the leading cause of anti-social behaviour reported by the British Crime Survey.
With cameras’ proven effectiveness at reducing casualties and speeding, and the potential to be a self-financing intervention, this is the time to increase camera enforcement, not discourage it.
This column is produced by an independent writer and in no way reflects the official position of News Shopper or its parent company.
Do you think there are too many speed cameras already or should there be more? Do you believe cameras help to reduce accidents? Have your say and add your comments below.
Meanwhile, check News Shopper's website every lunchtime for a new daily opinion column. Thursday will cover a moral issue. Friday is a sport rant. Monday is back to the Shopper Rant on a topical news story. Tuesday is entertainment day. Be sure to have your say if you agree or disagree with what you read.
We're also looking for articles to be considered for next Wednesday's Reader Rant. It needs to be something interesting, lively, thought-provoking and outspoken which will spark debate among readers.
Send your article to web manager Simon Bull at email@example.com