ABD Welcomes Enlightened Surrey Police Chief's Initiative
The Association of British Drivers has time and again highlighted the fact that only a small minority of accidents involve excess speed and that speed cameras are failing dismally in accident reduction terms.
Chief Superintendent Bill Harding of Surrey Police has come to exactly the same conclusion after studying 1,500 accidents. He said that national campaigns promoting speed as the major factor in accidents were shown not to be justified by his research and that some speed cameras had actually resulted in an increase in accidents.
Indeed this has been so in Surrey. The ABD recently obtained statistics from Surrey County Council that showed that all their cameras bar one had been placed at sites where no deaths had occured in the previous four years and that few cameras had shown reductions in serious injury accidents. At some sites these had not reduced at all or had increased. At one site a death occured where there had been none previously. Surrey has not adopted the practice of making cameras visible, going against government advice and increasing their ineffectiveness.
Instead of increasing the number of speed cameras, Chief Supt Harding plans to concentrate on educating drivers and wants to reach the point where people see poor driving as an anti-social activity. The concentration will be on careless and dangerous driving.
ABD Road safety Spokesman Mark McArthur-Christie said:
"The ABD welcomes this refocused policy and now looks forward to genuine accident reductions in Surrey. Hopefully other forces will soon wake up to the fact that total reliance on speed limit enforcement and neglect of education and enforcement of other traffic laws is doomed to failure. The sooner they do so, the fewer people will be killed."
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory added:
"This is absolutely what we have been calling for for years. In Surrey at least, genuine life saving policies are now firmly back on the agenda and the 'dash for cash' has at last ended. Surrey is leading where others should follow. Congratulations to Chief Superintendent Bill Harding, we hope that he will be able to increase the numbers of traffic officers on patrol to carry out his policies."
Notes for Editors