Safe Speed: Drivers with speeding points aren't more dangerous
Wednesday, 26 Apr 2006 14:13

Research commissioned by 8 midlands camera partnerships, published today, claims that drivers with speeding points are more crash involved.

Safe speed points out that many insurance companies - working from comprehensive data - disagree. They do not load the premiums of drivers with speeding points.

That isn't the only problem with the claims.

- Although the claim is being made that there has been some correction for 'risk exposure' (obviously drivers who do higher mileages are more exposed to the risk of crashes and more exposed to the risk of speeding convictions) we have no confidence that the correction has been carried out properly. After all, for an insurance company, you would think that speeding convictions would function as an exposure proxy. Because of the greater exposure we DO expect those with more convictions to be more crash involved. But if many insurance companies are not even finding that effect, then it seems likely that mile for mile, those with speeding convictions are LESS likely to be crash involved.

- If speeding convictions made drivers safer, then we should expect the opposite effect to that claimed. Convicted drivers should have become safer. If convicted drivers are more crash involved then clearly the system isn't working to make the roads safer.

Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign ( said: "I believe that this research is nonsense, strongly influenced by pre-conceptions and vested interests. Speed cameras do not identify risky drivers nor do they make our roads safer."

"It's junk science, and junk science makes our roads more dangerous because it tends to cause life-saving resources to be misallocated. This is the fundamental reason that speed cameras have proved to be a road safety disaster. Everyone - drivers, police, highways authorities and many road safety groups - are expending resources on the wrong safety factor. Had those same resources been allocated efficiently, we would now be down to around 2,000 road deaths per year. We're over 1,000 lives a year behind schedule and I am certain that speed cameras are at the centre of the problem."

"Our speed cameras are all in the wrong places - they should be in the scrap yard."