Alan Kennedy, chair of Road Safety GB, has urged the new transport secretary to consult with stakeholders before making any swift decisions about safety cameras.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, Philip Hammond has declared that the ‘war on the motorist is over’.
He has promised to end the way the country’s 33 million drivers have been targeted by ‘an array of speed cameras’ by scrapping public funding for cameras.
Mr Hammond added that councils could fund them if they had the money and could justify their use – but the money raised would go to the Treasury
Alan Kennedy said: "We welcome My Hammond’s appointment and wish him well in his new post.
"However, we believe it would make sense to carry out a comprehensive review of the effectiveness of safety cameras before making any decisions about
their future funding.
"An impulsive decision may have a serious impact on casualty reduction and impede the efforts of road safety professionals to further reduce casualty levels – or even maintain current levels.
"We understand the financial pressures that the new government faces and are not unsympathetic to the position it finds itself in, but a knee jerk reaction – and using phrases like ‘war on motorists’ – are not helpful."
Brake, the road safety charity, reacted furiously to Mr Hammond’s comments.
Mary Williams OBE, chief executive, said: “There is a vast amount of data showing that cameras reduce speeds and save lives.
“Most people accept that they are a legitimate road safety measure, and communities are still crying out for them outside their schools and homes.
“With advances in technology it is now possible to have digital cameras that track a vehicle’s speed between two fixed points and it would be nothing short of a scandal if this life-saving technology sits on shelves rather than streets because of archaic political bias that isn’t even popular.
“This announcement is like a trip back to the dark ages – if camera numbers go into decline or fail to go up where they are so desperately needed then that will inevitably mean faster speeds and more blood on the streets that could have so easily been prevented, as well as fearful communities who are not prepared to risk their lives by walking or cycling.”
Click here to read the full Daily Mail news report.
Footnote: we have contacted the DfT press office and invited Mr Hammond to make a further comment or statement if he wishes to do so. If he takes up this offer we will publish his comment/statement in full.