Monday, September 10, 2007

What does it take to convince some people about the need for road safety cameras?

Bob Bull’s letter in todays Bristol Evening Post criticising the Green Party (‘Driver education is what is needed’, Open Lines, 10 Sept) for being very strongly in favour of speed/road safety cameras misses the point on several crucially important grounds as well as being plain wrong that cameras ‘…in no way contribute to safer roads or better driving.’. The national pilot scheme on safety cameras showed a 35% average reduction in casualties where cameras had been placed. The pilot also showed an average 56% reduction in the number of pedestrians being killed or seriously injured at safety camera sites.

Bob talks about cameras in relation to accidents but completely fails to mention that speeding not only increases the likelihood of accidents but also of deaths and serious injuries in the event of accidents. Take the 30 mph limit – the police point out that in an accident at 20mph 90% of pedestrians survive, at 30mph 50% survive but when breaking the limit at 40mph 90% die. So Bob, more speed, more death.

He also misses the point that its not just the ‘..road safety groups and the Green Party…’ that have, in his terms, ‘…naively supported the speed kills campaign..’ but also our police force, local councils and central government. Are we all na├»ve? Bob seems to forget why a speed camera can appear in a place – local community concern, evidence of breaking the law by speeding, and a history of road collisions. So Bob, despite the vocal minority against cameras, many people do actually want them and campaign for them!

No-one is against the driver education and better traffic policing he calls for but we need these things along with cameras to increase road safety and the quality of life. Finally, its notable that Bob, along with others who have written to oppose safety cameras, did not condemn the illegal destruction of them by extremely anti-social people.

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