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Do Speed Cameras Actually Work

The mere sight of a speed camera will often strike us with momentary panic as we check our speed. For many, the dreaded speed camera can seem like the bane of our lives out on the road. This is epically true when you have been caught out one or more times already. Whilst the initial financial penalty can sting, the points on our license will also threaten to increase our insurance premiums. Often we can unknowingly creep over the limit when we are in a hurry, making the punishment seem unfair. But up to 10% over the speed limit is generally deemed acceptable before you will land yourself a ticket.

We sometimes forget that speed cameras are actually meant to serve a purpose other than mere annoyance. They were introduced to discourage drivers from behaving dangerous on the roads. Those that are caught offending repeatedly or excessively can have their licenses taken away. By discouraging or removing those who pose the biggest threats, the roads can be kept a safer place to drive.

Supporters: “Road accident frequency and severity can be greatly reduced through their use”

The police, governments and insurance companies are the largest supporters of speed safety cameras. Keeping drivers under control and having fewer accidents is in all of their best interests. By preventing people from speeding and stopping those who do, there will be a reduction in accidents caused by excess speed. Police can spend less of their time chasing motorists; governments can boast improved road safety statistics for their countries and cities and insurance companies will benefit from less claims and payouts.

The rest of the key supporters include anyone who has been affected by high-speed road accidents. Accidents may be caused by the driver’s own doing or, in the saddest cases, it could have been the other careless driver than causes a crash. Those who have had bad experiences often become avid supporters; they believe speed cameras can prevent similar accidents in the future.

Adversaries: “Speed cameras are a real annoyance. They are just a money making scam!”

The brutal truth is that the majority of those against speed cameras are those who regularly break the law. Whist not all of them will be fast and furious fuelled boy racers; many will be everyday drivers who are yet to look at the bigger picture. For those who truly believe speed cameras merely serve as a government moneymaking scheme, it would be beneficial to carefully consider the claimed benefits of their use for road safety.

So Do They Work?

When you spot a speed camera ahead what is the first thing you do? You quickly check your speed and slow down if required. Slowing drivers down to a safe speed is always going to reduce the chance of accidents. Some drivers may stick to the limit in camera areas then drive as they please on the camera free roads. However, this behavior will often catch up with them in the long run. In the end they will be forced to drive more sensibly or not at all.

To truly understand if they work you only need to visit a foreign country with few speed cameras or even speed enforcement. It will feel far more dangerous and you may even find yourself grateful for the stricter rules back home. Alternatively try reading the traffic accident statistics the most notoriously lax countries compared to our own. The figures may just shock you.


published: 14/04/2015 09:13:35

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