Cuts Watch #139: Road Safety Cameras
Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet has voted to cut £600,000 from their road safety budget, which will lead to the country having no road safety cameras from next month. The decision, which needs to be confirmed by the full council on Tuesday, cuts the funding for the Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership, which operates the county’s safety cameras.
The partnership says that the cut leaves them with no alternative to closing down the Oxfordshire safety cameras immediately; Oxfordshire CC in turn has pointed to a 30 per cent cut in transport funding from central government this year and the likelihood of more cuts to come. There have been warnings that Oxfordshire may only be the first county with no safety cameras and that this decision could have a “domino effect.”
In 2005, an independent evaluation for the Department for Transport found that ‘personal injury collisions’ were reduced by 22n per cent at sites after cameras were introduced; overall 42 per cent fewer people were killed or seriously injured. The value to society of avoided injuries was over £258 million, compared with enforcement costs of £96 million. 82 per cent of people agreed that “the use of safety cameras should be supported as a method of reducing casualties” and 71 per cent that the primary use of cameras was to save lives.