Scottish camera stats are “confusing”, says the ABD

12.00 | 6 August 2012 | | 4 comments

The Association of British Drivers (ABD) claims that statistics published last week by the Scottish Government are confusing journalists who are attributing a significant reduction in killed or seriously injured (KSI) casualties to safety cameras.

The publication ‘Key Scottish Safety Camera Programme Statistics, 2011’ shows that the average number of people killed or seriously injured at camera sites across Scotland has decreased by 68% when comparing the most recent three-year average (2009-2011) with the baseline three-year average.

The report contains figures relating to road casualties and offences at fixed, mobile and red-light camera sites. The average number of people killed or seriously injured amounts to a reduction from 337 to 108 per year.

While acknowledging that the Scottish Government is not claiming that all of this success in reducing KSIs is down to cameras, the ABD says it is misleading not to point out the other factors that could be involved.

Brian Gregory, ABD chairman, said: “It is ludicrous to suggest that cameras are responsible for all the reductions and questionable to claim that they are responsible for any of the reduction given the way the figures have been presented. We have long called for speed camera statistics to be presented with full data but regrettably the authorities have always fought against this.

“There are huge vested interests keen to prove cameras work who will jump upon any report such as this and who also wish to repress the true facts. We ask them to carefully consider that their actions can skew road safety practices. This can lead to ineffective measures taking priority over more effective measures.”

For more information contact the ABD on 0870 4442535, or click here to view the report.


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    Thanks to Bob Craven, and I recommend Churchill’s comment in the 1930s that “If it’s a choice between being right and being popular, I prefer to be right because by being right I will become popular.”

    I find it distincly worrying that a clear majority of those who indicate their likes and dislikes prefer vague generalisations to facts and uninformed opinions to informed rational analysis.

    I wonder again whether anyone who dislikes anything I have written can point out how and wny I was mistaken?

    Idris Francis
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Personally I don’t like the new like/dislike hands. I dont see what is achieved by them. I would much rather soemone with a disagreement or a dislike for what is put forward had the guts to stand up and be counted and have input themselves.

    Don’t be too concerned as I feel that I must hold the record for the most thumbs down anyway. By the way I dont really care if what I write is liked or not, it’s my opinion and therefore not necessarily held by others. That’s life.

    bob craven Lancs
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    Anyone care to tell me what they dislike about my comment? All it does is to draw attention to facts, surely desirable?

    Idris Francis
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    Quite right too – publishing figures only for camera sites risks – inadvertently or not – giving the impression that cameras alone were responsible for the falls, when in reality the causes include long term trends, the fluctuating state of the economy, drivers diverting to avoid cameras, regression to the mean and, for individual or small numbers of sites, pure random chance.

    The ABD response also rightly points out what your necessarily brief summary does not, that these before and after comparisons were not based on the usual 3 years immediately before and the 3 years immediately after camera installation, but on the unusual and potentially seriously misleading basis of 3 year periods up to 12 years apart – during which time casualties in Scotland more or less halved, as they did in Britain as a whole.

    As always, it is important to check the detail that is included, and also to look for what has been omitted or assumed.

    Idris Francis
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