Road safety organisations call for public debate on issue before cameras turned off

National cyclists organisation CTC has joined forces with the The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and several other road safety and motoring organisations to urge councils to reconsider abandoning speed cameras as a result of budget cuts.

As reported here on road.cc in the past fortnight, a number of councils are considering either switching off all of their speed cameras, as Swindon and Oxfordshire have already done, or reducing their use of them as a result of the coalition government’s decision to slash the Road Safety Grant, which helps fund the cameras, by 40%.

RoSPA, which has produced a document called Ten Reasons to Maintain Speed Camera Enforcement has been in touch with other organisations concerned with road safety, including CTC, and has published a joint communiqué to councils considering turning off their cameras.

Other co-signatories to the communiqué are representatives from the AA, the Association of Industrial Road Safety Officers, GEM Motoring Assist, the Institute of Road Safety Officers, the London Road Safety Council, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety and Road Safety GB.

RoSPA says that before decisions to switch off or scale down the use of speed cameras are taken, the organisations signing the communiqué “want to raise public awareness, demonstrate unity and feed the wider debate with facts.”

The full text of the communiqué is as follows:

Speed Cameras Communiqué: issued by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents on behalf of the undersigned on Tuesday, August 24, 2010.

We the undersigned agree that:

Speed cameras help to save lives - an estimated 100 lives a year in the UK.

Lives are saved by reducing speeding. Speeding significantly increases the risk of an accident happening; and also increases the severity of injuries in an accident.

Cameras should continue to be used where casualty statistics show they are needed.

Switching off cameras systematically would be close to creating a void in law enforcement on the road. Cameras currently account for 84 per cent of fixed penalty notices for speeding.

Cuts might also threaten many speed awareness courses that give motorists an opportunity to learn about the dangers of driving too fast.

While public spending needs to be cut, cuts must be justified by evidence. Cameras pay for themselves and currently make an important contribution to achieving compliance with the speed limit.


The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA): Tom Mullarkey MBE, Chief Executive

The AA: Edmund King, President

Association of Industrial Road Safety Officers (AIRSO): Graham Feest, Secretary

CTC - the UK’s National Cyclists’ Organisation: Kevin Mayne, Chief Executive

GEM Motoring Assist: David Williams MBE FIRSO, Chief Executive

Institute of Road Safety Officers: Darren Divall, Chairman

London Road Safety Council: Councillor Peter Herrington, Chairman

Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS): Robert Gifford, Executive Director

Road Safety GB: Alan Kennedy, Chairman

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.