Mike Waters' blog: 19 July 2012 - The focus on speed cameras
19 July 2011
Mike Waters is head of market analysis at Arval
Now is a really interesting point in the lifecycle of the speed camera. In the last few years there have been some high profile examples of towns and cities questioning their effectiveness and in some cases removing them altogether.
Now let's be fair, anything that leads to an increase in fines and penalty points is going to meet with disapproval from some drivers, that's just human nature. Likewise there will also be large swathes of opinion in support of speed cameras and the job that they do.
Speed cameras have always met with a level of suspicion and scepticism but anything that can mitigate road risk and reduce the number of injuries and deaths has to be viewed positively. So the big question is, are they still as effective as the alternatives?
To help answer this question, it has just been announced that information is going to be published by local authorities and the Police for the first time. What this means is that figures showing the number of accidents and casualties at camera sites (both before and after cameras were installed) will be available to give a true reflection of their effectiveness.
Police forces will also publish the number of speeding prosecutions arising from each camera in an area, as well as information about whether offenders are fined, complete a speed awareness course or are taken to court.
There are a host of alternatives to speed cameras and while other traffic calming techniques have merit, in some areas speed cameras will be having a positive impact. In other areas it may be that drivers have got wise to where they are located and slow down for the camera before speeding back up. The bottom line is, at least we will know.
Information is power and visibility of this information will not only make it easier for the authorities to justify the use of fixed speed cameras (or alternatives) in a location, it will hopefully make drivers more accepting of them.
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