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Speed camera authorities answer criticism. 22/3/04
UK camera partnerships are to publish accident data for all safety-camera sites in a bid to regain public confidence in the use of speed cameras as a means of improving road safety.

The move follows groing public perception that road-side cameras are being used to raise revenue rather than save lives. So prevelant was the view that the Transport Minister, David Jamieson, last year ordered a revue of every camera site in the country. The government has now announced that it is satisfied that all camera sites comply with the positioning guidelines issued by the Department for Transport.

Two years ago, a change of government policy allowed Safety Camera Partnerships to retain the fines raised by new cameras to help fund their existence. Since then, a total of 42 partnerships have been established, 38 of which have their own Web sites publishing details of the position of each of their cameras. Within the next fe weeks, all of these Web sites will be adding the 'before' and 'after' KSI (killed/seriously injured) rates for each location. The data will be updated annually.

Although the report has done little to silence the critics, support for the cameras has come from a report just published by the UK Parliamentary Advisory Counsel for Transport Safety and the Slower Speeds Initiative. The report Speed Cameras: 10 Criticisms and Why They are Flawed, reviews research evidence relating to 10 criticisms put forward by critics. Included in the claims that the report attacks are the notion that cameras cost lives and that speed is not a major factor in road casualties.

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