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Dead end for speed cameras?

We’re sure motorists showed equal measures of concern and jubilation in Oxfordshire at the news that all speed cameras are to be switched off across the county next week.

Following a vote by Oxfordshire County Council to cut road safety funding by £600,000 (or 71 per cent!), it not only means that speed cameras will be turned off but current drink driving, mobile phone and seatbelt checks will be halted. One commentator at the paper branded the decisions “a disgrace”. We’re inclined to agree.

We are struck time and time again by how it’s always the vital areas of society which suffer from budget cuts.  According to the Oxford Mail, since the Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership, the body that brought in all these safety measures about to be cut, was set up in 2000, fatalities on Oxfordshire’s roads have fallen by 52 per cent.

Leaving aside responsible drivers of course, the risk exists that these sudden concessions will have an adverse effect on those motorists already inclined to bend and break the rules.  So, instead of slowing down before a speed camera and then speeding up once they’ve passed, they will instead just speed straight through those areas!  Indeed, AA president Edmund
King told The Express: “If the cameras are just turned off, a minority of drivers may treat Oxfordshire as a race track.”
We can’t help but think that the speed of many motorists who are celebrating the decline of the speed camera this week has up to now purely been governed by the threat of being snapped and fined, rather than the risk of collision and death that they could cause through irresponsible driving.


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