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Speed camera effectiveness: it all depends...

Reckless drivers undeterred by Gatsos says Daily Mail but careless drivers are say Telegraph

Just like beauty, the interpretation of Government reports, it seems, is in the eye of the beholder.

How else to explain the conclusions drawn by the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail in reporting on two studies that appear to show Britain’s roads are becoming safer for motorists?

The Telegraph goes with the headline: “Number of careless driving convictions falls,” which, you might think, is a good thing. The Mail, however, sees things differently. “Speed cameras 'don't stop REAL danger motorists' despite 300% increase during Labour government”

Precisely who the ‘REAL danger motorists’ are, is not clear from the Mail report, but reporter Ray Massey says that: “speed cameras do nothing to curb reckless driving, damning road safety reports revealed yesterday.”

He quotes from the report: “‘With the surge in speed camera devices between 1995 and 2005, especially since 2002, the number of convicted speeding drivers has increased.

'However, individuals’ subsequent pattern of convictions has largely remained unchanged – so drivers are behaving much as before.

‘Drivers who had been previously disqualified were most likely to “manipulate” cameras and least likely to comply with them.’”

The Telegraph leads on the fact that convictions for careless driving have plummeted in the period since speed cameras were introduced: “…over the same period – 1997-2007 – there was a 53 per cent fall in prosecutions for careless driving [which have] dropped from 192,000 to 90,000 since the advent of speed cameras.”

So for the Daily Mail, the presence of speed cameras appears to be more about money-making than reducing “reckless driving” by “REAL danger motorists”.

For the Telegraph the drop in prosecutions for careless driving since the advent of speed cameras is of greater significance.

Either way, the figure released this week of 2,222 deaths on British roads in 2009 is a record low since such statistics were first compiled

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OldRidgeback | 13 years ago

Well here's me agreeing with the Daily Hate for once. No, speed cameras do not deter bad drivers. And the Torygraph is true too, the UK's accident levels are continuing to fall. One problem is, that no-one knows why.

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