Road Safety News
 

Bereaved mum fronts safety camera protest

Monday 16th August 2010

A protest led by a bereaved mother and Brake, the road safety charity, is taking place in response to Wiltshire County Council's decision to close the local road safety partnership.

Clare Brixey, whose son Ashley (pictured) was killed in a road accident in 2004, said: “The government should be prioritising saving lives on our roads not accumulating deaths. The cost of a safety camera does not compare to the cost of a life.

“I find it so frustrating that voices like mine are being drowned out by a few selfish, arrogant opponents to safety cameras.”

Ellen Booth, Brake’s campaigns officer, added: “Increasingly, decisions being made on safety cameras are more about politics and less about facts. The fact is that safety cameras reduce speeding and save lives.

“It seems that the people who argue so loudly against safety cameras are often the people who feel ‘taxed’ by the fines: the councillor in question has himself received a driving ban for repeated speeding.”

For more information contact Ellen Booth on 01484 550067.

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As I am Ashley's mother, I can tell you the FACTS. Ashley was a back seat passenger in the car he was killed in. He did NOT have any drugs in his system. The driver was exceeding 80 mph in a 40 mph zone on the approach to a very sharp left hand bend. Speed was a contributing factor to my son's death. I have NEVER said a speed camera was involved in his death NOR have I ever suggested that a speed camera would have prevented it. What I constantly have to remind some people is that Ashley died in a ROAD TRAFFIC COLLISION. It is ROAD TRAFFIC COLLISIONS that I am trying to reduce on our roads, however they may be caused. So that I may be able to prevent the unnessasary death of human beings and the unbearable heartache that those left behind suffer for the rest of their lives! Why is it so hard for some people to understand the connection between RTC & RTC?
Clare Brixey - Somerset

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I put this matter into Google and enlarged my knowledge of it but still did not get the facts relating to the cause of the accident. Ashley was a passenger in the car. The driver, apparently on drink and drugs, lost control of the car which ended up in a swimming pool. Ashley was drowned. One report claims the driver had "taken the bend too fast" (Brake), another says the driver was "speeding at more than 80mph at the time" (Bath Chronicle). How do these organisations know this? They were not witnesses. All other reports simply state the driver lost control. It therefore appears to be unknown what speed the vehicle was doing prior to the accident or what caused the driver to lose control. Perhaps the Incident Investigation Unit of Wiltshire Police can help here but, in the absence of specific evidence, any remedial action is unsoundly based on supposition. I am still keen to hear the facts without which it would appear that this very sad occurrence is being used by campaigners to challenge the decision of Wiltshire County Council regarding speed cameras.
Roy Buchanan, principal road safety officer, London Borough of Sutton

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Carole, I don't know how this accident happened so I am not in a sound position to comment. I have read an unconfirmed story that the car was carrying young occupants who had been drinking and taking drugs. The car went out of control and went into water (river, lake?)and Ashley was knocked unconscious. He consequently drowned. I must emphasise, this is the only explanation have been made aware of, I do not know if it is true. With such ignorance I cannot, indeed must not, make comments that could be interpreted as judgemental. Does anyone have the facts please?
Roy Buchanan. Sutton

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I am relieved that none of the people who have been arguing so loudly about speed cameras in other places on this website have dared to comment here. I hope that they take notice of what Clare and Ellen have to say. Whether or not cameras cut down collisions in every single case as those others are arguing, speed cameras definitely do have an affect on many people's driving. You only need to talk to people to know that they slow down when they know cameras are there. Clare has to live with the day to day consequences of her dear son being killed in a road crash, as do so many other people every day. Anything that reduces a driver's speed - education, enforcement, road layout and, yes, speed cameras - as well as anything else that can be thought of, so that a driver is less likely to kill or badly injure someone if they do hit them, must surely be a good thing. Then less people will have to go through what Clare is going through and what the lovely, brave people that I have worked with here are going through.
Carole, Leeds

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