ROAD safety chiefs have dismissed reports their speed cameras contravene Government guidelines.
Adrian Emberton, acting project manager for the Lancashire Partnership for Road Safety, told the Observer this week: "We don't have any iffy cameras. All our sites have been approved."
His comments follow claims that several of Hyndburn's speed cameras were on roads where there had not been enough deaths or serious accidents to justify their installation.
But Mr Emberton explained: "The cited criteria that there must have been four people killed or seriously injured only comes into effect in April this year. All our sites are checked on an annual basis. All our accident statistics are sent to the Home Office and are signed off and approved before any digging is done. There has obviously been some misinterpretation of the criteria."
The Transport Department has written to all partnerships across the country reminding them of the criteria. Mr Emberton added: "We were asked to clarify all our sites and wrote back saying all our sites have been passed. There may be one or two partnerships that have got some old sites which need clarification."
Current guidelines allow for cameras to be placed at scenes where minor accidents and incidents of speeding have occurred. But from April they must only be erected on roads where four deaths or serious injuries and eight personal injury collisions have occurred within one kilometre of the site over three years.
Hyndburn MP Greg Pope, who was caught speeding in December 2001, has tabled a parliamentary question on the issue. He said: "There is a good case for speed cameras but we have got more than our fair share. When I was caught doing 36mph in a 30mph it certainly made me think twice about my speed and more aware of the problem.
"I have asked firstly about how many cameras there are in Lancashire, how many in England, what are the proposed numbers for the coming year, how much money is made and where the money goes."
Accrington police chief Inspector Phil Cottam said: "At the last meeting of Baxenden Area Council, when the second speed camera had been put up, there was actually a round of applause. People said it had made a big difference in their lives."
A spokesperson from the Lancashire Partnership for Road Safety said: "Every fixed camera site in Lancashire is fully evaluated and approved by the Department for Transport before it can be installed. Over the years the DfT has redefined the criteria that must be met and each site in the county was installed in full compliance with the criteria of the day."