The recent decision by Oxfordshire County Council to turn back on speed cameras has been welcomed by a local firm of personal injury solicitors.
The speed cameras were turned off in August last year after the County Council decided not to pay its share of the operating costs totalling £600,000.
Joanna Bailey, a road traffic collisions expert for Fenton Solicitors LLP, welcomed the announcement from Thames Valley Police that 69 mobile cameras and 72 fixed speed cameras were to resume operation. She said it had been madness to turn them off in the place.
Thames Valley Police released data showing that in the six months following the switching off of the cameras, a potential 83 personal injury claims arose from 62 RTAs at fixed camera sites. In addition, the number of fatalities increased by 50%; from 12 to 18, the first time road deaths had increased in four years.
Speed kills, said Ms Bailey. Everyone knows that speed enforcement measures are an effective deterrent to motorists who drive without due care and attention. Research suggests that 800 deaths and serious injuries are prevented every year through the use of speed cameras.
Oxfordshire County Council had to decide whether to spend money on speed cameras or road maintenance after the government reduced its grant for road safety. Other areas faced with the same problem kept their cameras on.
Accident solicitors spend a lot of time dealing with personal injury compensation claims from people injured in RTAs and motorists have paid the price through rising car insurance premiums. Speed cameras are proven to reduce accidents and councils should do everything in their power to ensure they remain active.