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Fatalities rise in speed camera hotspots

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The UK government recently suspended the deployment of more speeds cameras pending the outcome of of a University College London probe into whether they actually save lives.

We have no doubt, then, that the investigators will be taking a close interest in the Motorcycle News revelation that road deaths have risen dramatically in those areas favoured with the most Gatsos.

According to the MCN figures - joyfully reported in today's Sun - Hertfordshire saw a 24 per cent rise in speed camera numbers between 2003 and 2004. In the same period, road fatalities rose by 34 per cent.

Likewise in Wiltshire, camera numbers went up 14 per cent, and those killed 22 per cent. In County Durham, meanwhile, a lone Gatso oversaw a 22 per cent drop in fatalities.

The Sun is also delighted to report that in North Wales, where "Gatso fan Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom has a league table for traffic cops", 56,247 speeding tickets were issued although this had little effect on safety, with an 18 per cent increase in road deaths.

The reason? Simple, says safety expert Paul Smith: “Crashes are avoided by making a safe plan based on what you see. Cameras move attention away from hazards to speedometers.” ®

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