Speed cameras do not save lives; the latest road casualty figures from the Department for Transport confirm it. Death rates on British roads climbed to a six-year high in 2003, topping 3500 fatalities for the first time since 1997.
A total of 3508 people were killed on the road last year, 77 more than the year before, despite the number of speed camera prosecutions rising by 479 per cent to 1.4m between 1996 and 2002.
There was some good news among the results: total road casualties fell by four per cent to 290,607; deaths and serious injuries involving children dropped by eight per cent; and the number of cyclists killed fell by 12 per cent.
However, there was a 14 per cent rise in deaths among motorbike and moped riders, and deaths among car users climbed by one per cent to 1769, according to the new figures released last week by the Department for Transport.
‘We need to reverse the 11 per cent decrease in traffic police since 1996, and launch national speed awareness courses to change driver behaviour,’ warned Edmund King, executive director of the RAC Foundation.