Councils keep the cameras rolling
Two years after the Government announced major cuts in road safety funding, figures obtained by the RAC Foundation suggest that fixed safety cameras continue to be used in most areas of England.
The RAC Foundation has welcomed this, saying that if all cameras were switched off, the number of road deaths and serious injuries would increase by around 80 and 700 respectively.
Data obtained by the RAC Foundation following Freedom of Information (FOI) requests reveal that, in England, there are currently 2,331 fixed safety camera sites; 3,026 fixed safety camera housings; and 487 operational fixed cameras.
Of the 38 organisations approached with FOI requests, four refused to answer questions, while Durham, Darlington, North Yorkshire and York have never used fixed safety cameras.
Of the remaining 32, 10 said they had made no change to the level of provision of sites, housings and cameras since 2010, while several others registered only small changes in provision over the past two years.
The biggest changes have been in Avon & Somerset and Wiltshire & Swindon where all operational cameras have been switched off.
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Many people believe there has been a mass switch-off of cameras over the past couple of years. But the data shows that, overall, this is simply not true.
“The RAC Foundation’s best evidence is that if all speed cameras were turned off around 80 more people would be killed on the roads each year with 700 others seriously injured. Therefore, we welcome these figures which suggest the majority of fixed cameras have been retained and housings are being kept in place to act as a deterrent.
“We are concerned funds won’t be available to purchase new equipment to replace increasingly antiquated film cameras. There is a lack of money for all aspects of road safety and we urge councillors to allocate adequate budgets to protect people on the roads by whatever means is appropriate.”
For more information contact Philip Gomm, RAC Foundation, on 020 7747 3445.