Speed cameras save 800 lives a year. The Daily Mail still doesn’t care

An investigation by the RAC has found that on average deaths and serious injuries were down by a quarter in sites where speed cameras were located.

An investigation by the RAC has found that on average deaths and serious injuries were down by a quarter in sites where speed cameras were located.

Analysis of data from 551 fixed speed cameras in nine areas found that on average the number of fatal and serious collisions in the vicinity fell by 27 per cent after the installation of cameras.

There was also an average reduction of 15 per cent in personal injury collisions in the vicinity of the 551 cameras.

The research also found, however, that in 21 camera sites the number of collisions appears to have risen – risen enough, according to the RAC, to warrant an investigation in case the installation of cameras has contributed to the increases.

In sum, then, in an analysis of 551 camera sites, the average number of serious collisions decreased by a quarter. In just 21 sites (four per cent of the total), collisions went up, whether because of the installation of speed cameras or not – we don’t yet know

How would any responsible, let alone honest, person interpret such data, then? Would they, as the director of the RAC has done, conclude that “without speed cameras there would be around 800 more people killed or seriously injured each year“?

Or would they instead single out the four per cent of camera sites where accidents did go up and make that the story – ignoring the 800 lives saved across the other 96 per cent of camera sites?

Here’s how today’s Daily Mail interpreted the RAC data.

Daily Mail speed cameras

What an absolute disgrace.

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15 Responses to “Speed cameras save 800 lives a year. The Daily Mail still doesn’t care”

  1. LB

    The NHS kills 40,000 plus a year, and Labour doesn’t care.

  2. Gareth Millward


    Around the same (proportionately) as a private system. The problem is poor management and low standards, not whether or not the evil, nasty, communist state is involved.

  3. LB

    Much less than the US.

    US has 225 million people in their health set up, and that causes 75,000 avoidable deaths.

    UK has 63 million with 40,000 avoidable deaths.

    That’s if you want to treat it as some sort of Jeu sans Frontier game as to who can kill most.

    Still Labour doesn’t care. It will winge about the road deaths but keep quite about the slaughter in the NHS.

    The telling figure is UCH in London compared to Birmingham. The death rate in Birmingham is 500% of UCH.

    That shows the scale of the deaths. All avoidable.

    Hence Stafford, where NHS campaigners are more keen on hounding a whistle blower out of town, and descecrating her mother’s grave.

    Labour? Not a peep.

  4. Julian

    “How would any responsible, let alone honest, person interpret such data, then?”

    Perhaps they would take into account the well known effect of regression to the mean (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regression_toward_the_mean) and not attribute the reduction solely to the cameras.

  5. Gareth Millward

    That report said 200,000. But, hey, take the lower figure from the earlier report to push your own agenda, by all means.

    Those people hounding the whistleblowers are scum. But don’t pretend you want to help other people. You just want your tax bill lowered.

  6. Saxobob

    The authors of the study were well aware of regression to the mean. When you get round to reading the report you will see this has been taken into account and corrected for. There is still a benefit after correcting for regression to the mean.

    From the report, page 3 “This allows the effect of regression to the mean
    to be excluded from the estimation of change following the establishment of
    the camera”

    Perhaps you missed that part when you *read the report yourself* 😉

    If you wish to see how you can correct this for yourself, read this excellent post: http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/regrmean.php

  7. LB

    No, I want people to be enriched and to be in control over their lives.

    When the state taxes 50%, and makes the decisions for people without their involvement, its gone wrong.

    When the 26K a year worker (median wage), has lost 475,000 pounds from their pension and will lose even more as pensions are cut, then I want them to have that money. Here I’m quite non libertarian. They should be forced to save.

    So look at exactly what I’ve posted on.

    1. Deaths in the NHS.

    I’m for compensation for the victims. All I get back from the left is that will take money away from treatments. In fact they mean money away from NHS workers. The left’s approach is the victims have to pay.

    2. Pensions. The losses are huge, and the debts off the books.

    Why shouldn’t people have the choice of investing their NI and being better off by a long way? Why should they be forced to give their money to a state that is so bankrupt it won’t even report what it owes them?

    Both of those are about making the citizen better off.

    What you are pushing is that the workers of the state come before other people, at their expense.

  8. Leon

    That’s not a like for like comparison. What about the 75m people who aren’t in the ‘health set up’, they’re all tickety-boo right? No avoidable deaths there then.

    The US Healthcare system is mess, I should know. I live in Fort Worth.

  9. Cole

    Still repeating this stuff from a 2001 Daily Mail article?

  10. Cole

    Don’t worry. LB is a typical right winger who hates the NHS. He makes stuff up or twists facts to back his feeble arguments.

  11. SadButMadLad

    Speed cameras make hardly any difference to road accidents. Accidents have been going down before speed cameras were introduced. Looking at the chart I link to in Wiki, you could be lead into thinking that accidents dropped due to the introduction of cameras in 1991. But though that is true for the immediate period after the introduction which would be mainly due to the publicity, the general trend has not changed since the 1970s. We are now getting down to levels where reducing accidents further will require us to have a man with a red flag walking in front of cars.


    So yes, speed cameras do have a purpose. But a very limited purpose in reducing accidents. They are more successful are generating money. And if they are generating money they are failing.

    The fixation on speed ignores other an aspect of driving that are more important. That of driving to the conditions and environment of the road. So a 30mph speed limited road is too dangerous to do 30mph when it is icy or near a school or is residential. But 90mph on an empty dry motorway is very safe. But you get fined for the later but ignored in the former.

  12. LB

    If they aren’t in the health system, they aren’t killed in hospitals are they?

    Hence the correct ratio is as calculated.

    75,000 deaths per 225 million, compared to 40,000 deaths per 63 million.

    If you haven’t noticed, we have just had one hospital that killed 1,200 patients, including starving them to death, leaving them in shit, …

    We had one GP who murdered 215 (official figures). Actual is likely to be higher.

    We have had hospitals deny treatment by putting patients on the Liverpool Care Pathway. Try reading up what that means. Now look at what was raised in the US with fears over socialised medicine. As yourself what’s the difference between a death panel and the LCP.

    At least in the US, you can get to sue to get some redress. In the UK, its the victim that pays.

  13. blarg1987

    So when a private insurer refuses to pay out for an operation as they consier it “experimental procedure” and so the person is denied treatment that is not a death panel?

  14. LB

    Yes. However, there is one difference.

    There are no restrictions in the NHS, and yet it does the same.

    With a private insurer, such as say in the Swiss system, you are covered for everything in the contract, and that covers you for more than the NHS which regularly refuses treatment.

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