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6/29/2006
UK Road Fatalities and Injuries Rise Despite Cameras
The UK speed camera enforcement policy has failed to reduce either road injuries or road fatalities.

BMJ, DFT logosUK Department for Transport statistics released today show that the number of fatalities on British roads has not dropped significantly, despite a record number of ticketing cameras used to enforce speed limits. The latest available figures show 3201 road deaths occurred in the UK in 2005 compared to 3221 in 2004 -- a difference of just 0.7%.

Non-fatal road injuries, despite the claims of police, have also risen according to a British Medical Journal (BMJ) study published last week. The BMJ researchers examined the police claim that the road injury rate had fallen from 85.9 per 100,000 in 1996 to 59.4 in 2004 and found that it did not ring true. By examining hospital records, the study found the road injury rate increased slightly from 90.0 in 1996 to 91.1 in 2004. The study attributes the discrepancy to "under-reporting" on the part of the police.

"The overall fall seen in police statistics for non-fatal road traffic injuries probably represents a fall in completeness of reporting of these injuries," the BMJ study concluded. PDF File View this study in a 79k PDF file.

"The change in fatalities is the acid test of any change in road safety," said road safety expert Paul Smith of Safe Speed. "Fatalities haven't fallen so the roads have not got safer. DfT road safety policy has failed to save lives. Speed cameras have failed to save lives. Speed limit reductions have failed to save lives."

"These figures show that we need to completely change the way we think about road safety," said Mark McArthur-Christie, policy spokesman for the Association of British Drivers. "It simply cannot be imposed from the outside with humps, bumps, cameras and lower limits."

The full Department for Transport fatality statistics are available in a 365k PDF file below.

Source: PDF File Road Casualties in Great Britain 2005 (Department for Transport, 6/29/2006)

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