Speed cameras serve no purpose, says report

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A new report on speed cameras in Thames Valley which will be published on Tuesday casts doubt on their effectiveness as a road safety tool.

The report investigates the effect that speed cameras have had on the number of collisions that resulted in death or injury.

It includes all 212 fixed camera sites – within which there are 359 Gatso-type cameras – and 105 mobile camera sites that had been operating for two or more years at the start of 2009.

The report concludes that:

> Speed cameras have not made any impact in preventing road traffic collisions.

> There was no reduction in the number of collisions at fixed (Gatso) camera sites after they were installed and there was no reduction in the number of collisions at mobile camera sites after they started operating.

> Even after compensating for other influences such as rising traffic volumes and safer vehicle design, the cameras are still not demonstrated to have resulted in any reduction in collision rates. In fact, collision rates increased at mobile speed camera sites following deployment relative to all roads in the Thames Valley area.

> There was found to be no relationship between vehicle speeds and the number of collisions. Reductions in speeds at camera sites (both average and above the speed limit) did not result in any reduction in the number of collisions.

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