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Government should rule out hidden cameras

Government should rule out hidden cameras

Hidden speed cameras are more about revenue collecting than road safety, says National's Police spokesman Tony Ryall.

In Parliament today, the Government rejected National Party calls to dump any plans to introduce hidden speed cameras, with Transport Minister, Paul Swain indicating that hidden speed cameras were still on the Government's agenda.

"Dead bodies speak louder than any official report. In the Waikato/Bay of Plenty hidden camera trial, the road toll went up, not down," says Mr Ryall.

"The LTSA's Hidden Speed Camera Trial Evaluation Report: Two Year Review Findings makes it clear:

In the year before the trial began, there were 102 fatal crashes involving 126 deaths....There were 86 fatal crashes involving 100 deaths on open roads in the trial area in the first year of the hidden camera operation, and 97 fatal crashes involving 135 deaths in the second year. (sentences reordered for comparison)

"The report also states that its own conclusions on improved safety

"...cannot be attributed per se to hidden speed cameras alone because of the large statistical fluctuations that occur with the small numbers involved."

"The Waikato hidden camera trial has more holes in it than Swiss cheese. It is based on a statistical model that says there were fewer deaths, when in fact there were more," says Mr Ryall.

"Former Transport Minister Mark Gosche was right when he said he did not believe the pilot in the Waikato had cut speeding or road deaths (NZHerald 9 June 2000).

"Paul Swain should stop looking at Victoria, Australia for guidance. In the past 10 years, the Victorian road toll has remained static while New Zealand's has reduced by 37% without hidden cameras.

"The most charitable thing you can say about hidden cameras is that they may have an initial impact that is quickly lost. The Government must realise hidden cameras are bad policy unsupported by any scientific evidence.

"National says the Government should concentrate more on police visibility, excessive speed, drink driving, seatbelts and driver fatigue," says Mr Ryall.

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