In this week’s magazine I have written about the great speed camera con. The number of road deaths (2946 last year), the Office for National Statistics website admits, "has remained fairly constant over the last t
Camera advocates got around this inconvenient truth by inventing the ‘Killed and Seriously Injured’ metric.
Aside from the lack of a definition of ‘serious injury’, the claims of a big fall in the KSI rates between
1996 and 2004 were comprehensively blown apart by research published in the British Medical Journal.
"According to police statistics," it said, "rates of people killed or seriously injured on the roads fell consistently from 85.9 per 100 000 i
1996 to 59.4 per 100 000 in 2004.
"However, hospital admission rates for traffic injuries ‘were almost unchanged at 90.0 in 1996 and 91.1 in 2004."
A couple of days ago this message popped into my inbox from a chap who seems to know the individual causes of the road deaths in the UK.
"Your piece in today’s issue of Autocar re safety cameras is interesting and
nearing the crux of the matter," he writes.
It is most significant that all but 200 of the 3,200 deaths on the road last year were motorcyclists, the drunk, the drugged, the under 25’s and those fleeing from the law – speed cameras don’t deter them.
The figure of 200 ‘law abiders’ killed includes those who fell asleep at the wheel, were killed by deer jumping through the windscreen, (74) foreign lorry drivers on the wrong side of the road and numerous other non-casual events.
Statistically – work it out – ‘law abiders’ would have to live for three hundred thousand years to be likely to be killed on the road by their own actions! A huge testimony to the skill of the majority of drivers.
"Inappropriate speed is the cause of accidents. Every day I drive past a school with a limit of 30mph. Today, a dry, sunny day with the children on holiday I could be ‘booked’ for 35mph. On a wet, dark night during term time I could lawfully
roceed at 30mph, though 20mph could be dangerous.
More training and education is the answer, with a competent police force empowered to admonish or penalise careless or thoughtless driving or driving at an inappropriate speed – with higher nominal speed limits?
Wouldn’t it be nice to see centre lane hoggers on a motorway be given a good wigging by the law?"
The emailer wouldn’t reveal his ‘sensitive’ sources, but it made me realise that somewhere is a report explaining the cause behind each and every road death. It’s time we were shown it.