http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.j ... ncam11.xml
Speed cameras 'a danger to pedestrians'
By Paul Marston, Transport Correspondent
Pedestrians are being warned to avoid crossing the road near speed cameras, because of the risk of being struck by a driver taking their eyes off the highway to check their speed.
Motoring groups yesterday claimed that a motorist's braking distance could be fatally extended if they make an unnecessary speed check, and urged the Government to commission research into this effect of camera installation.
The Association of British Drivers (ABD) and the Safe Speed campaign said the potential dangers to pedestrians had been highlighted by last week's statement by a coroner that speed cameras were "in danger of becoming a hazard" because of their distracting effect on drivers.
John Pollard, the South Manchester coroner, criticised the role of a speed camera in a collision that led to the death of a 69-year-old woman as she tried to cross a main road near Stockport.
The campaign groups said that the process of checking a speedometer typically occupied a driver for about one second, or slightly longer. At 30mph, that implied that a motorist would travel 44ft - roughly three car lengths - while looking at the instrument panel.
If 44ft was added to a driver's braking distance in this situation, it would equate to the distance normally required by a car travelling at 42mph.
Paul Smith, of Safe Speed, said research indicated that 70 per cent of drivers checked their speed at least three times when passing a speed camera.
"Irrespective of whether or not they are exceeding the limit, drivers are highly aware of the camera and will check their speedometer, look at the camera and think about the camera. Many will check the speedometer again and even watch the mirror to make sure they haven't been flashed," he said.
"The message for pedestrians is clear: They should always choose a place to cross the road where drivers are not likely to be distracted, which means well away from any speed camera."
The ABD called on the Department for Transport to carry out a study of "this potentially very dangerous aspect of speed cameras" before more casualties were caused.