Parliamentary Advisory Council Defends Speed Cameras Online

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The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety has formulated an online counterargument against those criticising speed cameras, on the website http://www.debatewise.com. The move could show a trend away from safety issues being used as party political weapons, and toward more responsible open debate.

The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) has spoken out on the currently heated topic of speed cameras. Figures released by the Conservative Party have been picked up on by the national press ('Speeding fines up by 400 per cent' 05/08/2008) yet PACTS have revealed their rebuttal in a less usual way - in the form of an online debate.

The debate, hosted by http://www.debatewise.com initially contained points by the author of an anti-speed camera website , but PACTS soon countered these points with their own arguments. The most recent criticism made of cameras - that they are merely a "cash cow" - is dealt with by the advisory council's claim that they are "remarkably cost-effective" , citing evidence from a Home Office cost-benefit analysis, and taking into account casualty reduction.

The move to raise the argument in an online, open, debate, indicates that some are willing to ignore the obvious party political angle cast on the issue. Tellingly, whilst posting a response to every other point made by http://www.speedcameras.org, PACT didn't reply to the claim that 'Authorities support speed cameras because it's politically correct' . Perhaps this shows the beginning of a responsible move towards debating issues of public safety rather than using them as weapons in political slanging matches.

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Betony Lloyd
Debatewise Ltd.
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