Cameras 'have cut M4 accidents'
Mobile speed camera
The mobile speed cameras were brought into operation in April 2005
Numbers of deaths and crashes have significantly reduced since mobile speed cameras were introduced on the M4 motorway in Wiltshire, figures show.
Wiltshire and Swindon Safety Camera Partnership (WSSCP) began enforcing the 70mph limit in the county last April.
Figures suggest that since then, there has been a 57.89% cut in the number of people killed or seriously injured.
But campaign group Safe Speed, which opposes the cameras, said there was insufficient data to justify the claim.
Spokesman Paul Smith said the assumptions should not be based on a single year's figures, which did not take into account national trends and local conditions.
"Analysis and interpretation of road accident statistics requires considerable care and scrupulous honesty because road accidents are rare and exceptional events," he said.
"It is necessary to separate random effects from real changes."
David Frampton, manager of the WSSCP admitted there was no specific evidence to show that the cameras had caused the reduction.
But he said: "Nothing else has changed on the motorway since they were introduced. There are no extra police patrols, only the cameras, and we have fewer collisions, so we have to draw some conclusions.
"When we started enforcing on the M4, some people said we would make the road more dangerous, these figures prove that this is not the case. The signs and cameras encourage motorists to slow down."
He added the partnership would continue to enforce the speed limit on the motorway.
Speed cameras are making an impact
By Victoria Ashford
Despite crashes, which involved this Vauxhall Cavalier last month, mobile cameras are helping to curb drivers' speeds along the M4
# Despite crashes, which involved this Vauxhall Cavalier last month, mobile cameras are helping to curb drivers' speeds along the M4
THE number of people injured in accidents on the Wiltshire stretch of the M4 has more than halved, according to figures.
And the Wiltshire and Swindon Safety Camera Partnership believes the use of mobile cameras on the motorway has had an impact.
The statistics, released by the partnership today, show the number of collisions where someone was killed or injured is down from 133 in 2004/05 to 74 in 2005/06.
This is a 44 per cent drop, which comes a year after the controversial speed checks were introduced.
Two people were killed between April 2005 and April this year, compared to four during the same period last year.
However, one of the two was the recent death of Clive Preedy, of Toothill. The 35-year-old's body was found near the Mill Lane bridge between junctions 15 and 16 in February, but a coroner's inquest is yet to be held how he died from a road accident or some other incident.
According to the figures, compiled by the partnership's road analyst, Kevin Bolan, there were seven accidents in which someone was seriously injured in 2005/06, compared to 19 the previous period a 63 per cent drop.
Collisions in which casualties were slightly injured fell from 110 last year to 66 this year a 40 per cent decrease.
Partnership spokeswoman Saira Khan said: "We are here to save lives. If we can demonstrate that we have saved lives then hopefully that's enough to prove our purpose."
Manager of the partnership David Frampton said: "When we started enforcing on the M4, some people said we would make the roads more dangerous. These figures prove that this is not the case. The signs and cameras encourage motorists to slow down.
"We will continue to enforce on the M4, but our success at reducing casualties will depend on motorists driving with care and within the speed limit."
The introduction of the mobile cameras, which sit on various M4 bridges between Chippenham at junction 17 and Swindon East at junction 15, sparked controversy.
Among the criticism was that the partnership logged all accidents even if speed was not a factor.
The report comes after a hellish time on the motorway near Swindon.
Last month the M4 had to be closed to allow the air ambulance to land on the carriageway following a crash involving a motorcyclist.
Earlier the same month two men were pulled from a wreckage after their Vauxhall car was hit by a lorry.