We’ve known since they first appeared, but now it’s official: Speed cameras cause bad driving. A recent poll by UK car insurance provider Liverpool Victoria, 81% of drivers said they looked at the speedometer instead of the road when a camera appeared, and 5% admitted to braking suddenly when in sight of a camera. Liverpool Victoria managing director John O’Roarke was quoted as saying, “…while they may reduce speed they also appear to impair driving ability or, at the least, concentration on the road. As this report shows some drivers behave erratically and, at worst, dangerously around speed cameras.”
We agree, as free-flowing traffic with driver’s attention on the road is safer than having even a small portion of drivers distracted and driving erratically.
In another report, Express.co.uk reports that cameras have caused 28,000 lives in the UK over the pas 10 years, as cameras have been cited as the official cause of 1% of all accidents.
To prove the point that the opposite is true – that removing cameras reduces accidents – the Telegraph reported Saturday on newly reduced data from Swindon (UK). Swindon turned off their cameras 9 months ago, and similar to Arizona, experts predicted a bloodbath. Redflex’s Shoba Vaitheeswaran predicted, “…watch for a large increase in aggressive, dangerous driving” after Arizona ended its statewide contract. Instead, the opposite has happened. Since the cameras were turned off, injury and fatality crashes were down by 4% and 50% respectively in the entire area. At the camera sites themselves, fatalities dropped from 1 to 0 and non-injury accidents dropped from 13 to 12. We expect similar results in Arizona.
Governor Brewer: Helps us improve road safety here. Let us vote on photo enforcement!