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Deaths and serious injuries down a quarter near speed cameras

10 June 2013

Analysis of data for 551 fixed speed cameras in 9 areas shows that on average the number of fatal and serious collisions in their vicinity fell by more than a quarter (27%) after their installation.

There was also an average reduction of 15% in personal injury collisions in the vicinity of the 551 cameras.
However the research also highlights 21 camera sites (in these areas) at which, or near which, the number of collisions appears to have risen enough to make the cameras worthy of investigation in case they have contributed to the increases.

The data was released in 2011 as part of a government move to make speed camera operations more transparent to the public. The analysis formed part of work - commissioned by the RAC Foundation and carried out by Professor Richard Allsop of University College London - to provide advice on interpreting speed camera data.

The estimates for collision reduction were made allowing for the more general downward trend in the number of collisions in the 9 areas in recent years, and for the effect of regression to the mean at sites where collision numbers were unusually high in the period before the cameras were installed.

The study comes in the wake of  the 2011 instruction from government that speed camera data going back to 1990, detailing accident statistics before and after fixed speed cameras were installed, be made publically available.

Since 2011 only a third (12 out of 36) of the organisations (a mixture of councils, police forces and safer roads partnerships) responsible for the figures have published the information in a format which complies with official Department for Transport guidance.

In 2010/11 the Foundation undertook or commissioned more than a dozen pieces of research, many directly relating to road safety issues. Its highly influential report ‘The Effectiveness of Speed Cameras- A review of evidence’ which won the Prince Michael Premier Road Safety Award had a significant impact on policy and aided numerous police forces both in the UK and further afield to make the case for speed camera enforcement in the face of significant funding challenges.

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