On the very same day (1.4.11) that Oxfordshire’s safety cameras were switched back on after an eight month absence, in other parts of the country more than 300 cameras were deactivated (BBC News).
Funding for Oxfordshire’s cameras was withdrawn in August 2010 as a result of budget cuts.
But Thames Valley Police say that since then the number of deaths and serious injuries have increased. Police figures show that between August 2010 and January 2011 there were 18 deaths, 179 seriously injured and 982 people slightly injured on Oxfordshire’s roads.
Meanwhile, a separate BBC News report reveals that more than 200 safety cameras in the West Midlands have been turned off after seven councils withdrew funding for the West Midlands Casualty Reduction Scheme. West Midlands Police will pay more than £1m to keep the remaining 100 fixed cameras running.
Staffordshire Road Safety Partnership has also confirmed cameras in the county will be switched off, but did not say how many or where.
Speaking about Oxfordshire’s decision to switch cameras back on, superintendent Rob Povey said: “We think this is important because we know that speed kills and speed is dangerous.
"We have shown in Oxfordshire that speed has increased through monitoring limits and we have noticed an increase in fatalities and the number of people seriously injured in 2010."
Councillor Rodney Rose added: "The county council did not delight in withdrawing funding for speed cameras last year, but took this decision to protect other service areas following a huge reduction in road safety grant from the government. Other councils across the country took the same view."