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UK Road Sense, Dorset Way / A3049 50 limit

A decade of obsession with speed has

reduced percentage of speed related road deaths

by …. wait for it ….. 1% !!!

And speed related serious injuries are down by just 4%.

Well, not really. As anyone who knows anything about statistics will tell you, these differences are so small compared with everything else that has changed in a decade that they are completely insignificant.

And this isn't just about speed cameras, it's about the ENTIRE obsession with speed, including:
- "speed kills" publicity
- widespread speed limit reductions including the "20's plenty" nonsense
- probably by now millions being sent on "driver / speed awareness" courses
- traffic "calming" and speed bumps
- numerous "road safety" "charities", RSGB, RoadSafe, Brake, etc. spreading publicity about the "dangers" of speed
- absurd, misleading and dangerous suggestions from road "safety" organisations benefitting from the speed industry of speed camera effectiveness of up to 90%

I have been communicating with the Lincolnshire Road “Safety” Partnership about their absurd statements and misinformation clearly intended to give the impression that cameras have resulted in up to 89% injury reductions.  My investigations have resulted in undeniable proof that everything about speed (of which speed cameras are just a part) has not provided any meaningful reduction in deaths and serious injuries whatsoever.

The results for 2000 can be seen here:

google books

It shows speed related deaths at 26% and serious injuries at 18%.

The results for 2011 can be seen here:


It shows speed related deaths at 25% and serious injuries at 14%.

So the most optimistic case for cameras, taking these numbers literally, could only claim A SMALL PERCENTAGE of the pitiful improvements of 1% and 4% in an ENTIRE DECADE.

Of course, absolute values of accident counts have reduced significantly in recent years, due to things like improving car safety, rocketing costs, recession and at least 10 other factors. The “safety” camera partnerships have exploited these reductions and tried to claim them for themselves, but comparing instead the relative percentage of the causing factors gives a much better indication of how things have changed against that factor.

In fact, deaths and serious injuries are down on average by 40% from 2000 - and many speed cameras have been placed where there have been a number of accidents (rather than on a proper scientific evaluation of the risks of all potential sites and all potential solutions) making them highly prone to the effects of regression to mean, and the frequencies involved are often too low to extract any meaningful results. All this could mean that an observed reduction of 60% or even more at a camera site doesn't indicate that the camera has contributed anything at all.

Look at the more detailed stats for 2011 and you will see that by far the largest factor at about 66% (fatals AND serious) is simple driver error. “Exceeding the speed limit” only accounts for 13% of deaths and 6% of serious injuries. Combined ksi is 7.6% It should now be starting to become clear to all that the focus in the last decade should have been on reducing driver error, not on penalising safe driving a few MPH above absurdly low limits.

Of course, speed related to reckless speeding, racing, dangerous overtaking, road rage, crime, etc. is a REAL problem, and I’m sure accounts for the majority of speed related ksis. But a jobsworth sitting in a van racking up expensive driver course “invitations” on a non-residential dual carriageway with a 30 limit for driving at less than 40 clearly doesn’t stand any chance whatsoever of helping with this and that is why no RELATIVE improvement in speed related injuries has been realised.

Even if we had done nothing whatsoever about speed, and instead brought down driver error by just 15% over the last 10 years, which seems entirely achievable as it would still have left it as by far the largest factor, WE WOULD HAVE REDUCED TOTAL KSIS BY MORE THAN IF WE HAD ELIMINATED THOSE DUE TO SPEEDING ENTIRELY which the current revenue driven obsession with speed will clearly never do in a million years.

Never has it been clearer that the Dft, Councils, and Police Forces have got things badly wrong and the cost to human life has been significant. That’s bad enough but they have been told over and over again and are continuing to simply ignore and cover up the failings.

Click here to see lies about speed camera effectiveness from organisations that would not survive without them

Further evidence that the decade of obsession with speed has done NOTHING to reduce deaths and serious injuries:


Table 1.1 All collisions     www.SpeedCameraReport.co.uk    
Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Average
Exceeding speed limit, % of collisions 5.0% 5.0% 5.5% 5.4% 5.1% 4.8% 4.7% 5.1%
Exceeding speed limit, number of collisions 7,314 7,258 7,725 7,103 6,594 5,836 5,576 6,772
Total number of collisions investigated 147,509 145,798 140,361 131,582 128,185 120,827 118,403 133,238
Table 1.2 KSI collisions (Killed or Seriously Injured)     www.SpeedCameraReport.co.uk    
Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Average
Exceeding speed limit, % of KSI collisions 7.7% 7.7% 8.3% 8.1% 7.5% 7.1% 6.5% 7.6%
Exceeding speed limit, number of KSI collisions 1,832 1,900 1,993 1,833 1,622 1,400 1,308 1,698
Total number of KSI collisions investigated 23,893 24,814 23,884 22,594 21,501 19,663 20,054 22,343
Table 1.3 Fatal collisions     www.SpeedCameraReport.co.uk    
Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Average
Exceeding speed limit, % of fatal collisions 12.4% 14.1% 13.5% 14.4% 15.6% 13.6% 12.8% 13.8%
Exceeding speed limit, number of fatal collisions 325 381 342 313 301 221 213 299
Total number of fatal collisions investigated 2,613 2,703 2,538 2,170 1,935 1,620 1,663 2,177
Year Found here Download
2005 www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/datatablespublications/accidents/casualtiesgbar/roadcasualtiesgreatbritain2005 Contributory factors to road accidents (actual figures) (Excel 113 kb)
2006 www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/datatablespublications/accidents/casualtiesgbar/roadcasualtiesgreatbritain2006 Article 4 - Contributory factor statistics (Excel 229 kb)
2007 www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/datatablespublications/accidents/casualtiesgbar/roadcasualtiesgreatbritain20071 Article 4 - Contributory factor statistics (Excel 243 kb)
2008 www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/datatablespublications/accidents/casualtiesgbar/rrcgb2008 Article 4 - Contributory factors (Excel 378 kb)
2009 www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/datatablespublications/accidents/casualtiesgbar/rrcgb2009 Article 4 - Contributory factors (Excel 378 kb)
2010 http://www.dft.gov.uk/statistics?orderby=title&post_type=table&s=ras50 RAS50001 Contributory factor, Reported accidents by severity, Great Britain 2010
2011 http://www.dft.gov.uk/statistics/releases/reported-road-casualties-great-Britain-annual-report-2011
click: Contributory factors to reported road accidents 2011 (PDF – 122 KB) download: rrcgb2011-04.pdf