Friday, April 1, 2011

Oxford Speed Cameras Back On - Shame about the Deaths

Another partial success for the bungling Coalition.

The results are back from the 'human experiment' in which Oxfordshire's speed cameras were switched off. And guess what - more people died and were injured, just as  the police, road safety partnerships, even the AA, pretty much anyone involved in road safety and indeed anyone with any vestige of sanity predicted.

In the six months after the cameras were switched off, 83 people were injured in 62 accidents camera sites.
The figure for the same period the year before there were 68 injuries in 60 accidents.
Across Oxford, 18 people were killed in road traffic accidents in the period, compared with 12 people the year before. The number of people seriously injured rose by 19 to 179.
(source: The Guardian)

So that's 6 extra deaths, total cost somewhere between £9M and £18M, ignoring the cost of serious and slight injuries, and all because the Road Safety Partnership's grant was cut by £600,000. That's a pretty expensive way of buying petrolhead votes, especially as it won't have made residents whose streets are now blighted by speeding motorists too happy.

I wonder how Road Safety Minister Mike Penning and Transport Secretary Philip Hammond are going to spin it? Penning said last year "Local authorities have relied too heavily on safety cameras for far too long so I am pleased that some councils are now focusing on other measures to reduce road casualties. This is another example of this government delivering on its pledge to end the war on the motorist."


  1. Does this mean that the 'regression to the mean' argument w.r.t. speed cameras was bogus?

  2. I love how Mike Penning thinks that a device designed to ensure compliance with the law is equivalent to a "war" on the motorist.

    By the same logic, CCTV cameras in shops, designed to stop shoplifting, are part of a "war on the shopper."

  3. Well, if you read the news about closing roads for motor races (and no, it was not an April Fool story - it was announced on 31 March) it seems Mr Penning still thinks motorists pay for the roads.

    That is the sort of pig-ignorance I expect from a chav Escort XR3i-driver, not from the minister in charge of - roads!

  4. Jesus. Even the Roads minister doesn't know how the roads are funded. We have a bunch of clowns at the DfT.