Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Advantages of Speed Cameras

Why I support the use of speed cameras in the UK

Benefits of Speed Cameras

1. Speed Costs Lives

Road traffic accidents cost the lives of over 3,100 people in the UK alone.
It is the biggest cause of death for those under 30 years of age.

  • Being hit by a car at 40mph 9/10 people die:
  • Being hit by a car at 30mph 5/10 people die:

If speed camera's are used and placed in the best locations, then cutting speed, can and will save lives.

In 2002, 3431 people lost their lives on our roads. 33% of these deaths were due to excessive speed. 179 of those killed were children. The Association of Chief Police Officers says that speed is the most important factor in road crashes, more so than even drink or drug driving. [1]

2. Economic Benefit.

The economic benefit is not from the small amount of revenue raised. The economic benefit is from the reduction in accidents and deaths. The economic cost of a road death is estimated at £1 million. This includes costs of police, hospitals, lost earnings e.t.c. Saving lives, especially that of young people definitely has an economic benefit. Of course, it is difficult, if not impossible, to place a value on a human life, but there is a definite measurable economic cost which does justify reducing deaths through speeding.

3. Speed Camera's are a tax on the rich and stupid.

Speed camera's are not really a tax because there is no obligation to pay it. If you drive safely and stick to the speed limits you will never have to pay it. People who either don't care about paying a fine or drive carelessly, will however pay it. This means money is raised to be spent on various improvements. When other people pay fines for speeding, it means other real taxes can be lower. The rich and reckless, are just subsidising those who drive responsibly.

4. Good for environment

Lower speed is more efficient leading to lower fuel consumption. This will help reduce carbon emission and global warming.

5. High Speed is bad for communities and other types of exercise.

Many villagers ask to have speed cameras because they know quality of life improves when speed limits are introduced. Studies have shown that excessive speed supreses cycling and walking

Criticisms of speed cameras

1. They cause accidents because people brake from 40 to 30mph.

  • People shouldn't be driving at 40mph
  • Government should use average speed cameras

2. Speed is not the main cause of death.

Here people misquote DFI statistics. Speed definitely is a cause of death on the roads.

3. Countries without speed cameras have lower death rates.

It is not possible to compare countries because factors vary significantly. What is important is the effect speed cameras have on reducing death and accidents on that particular road.


[1] Speed and Road Safety

Police call for hidden speed cameras

Mobile speed cameras

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have good points supporting your belief, but you failed to take into account several things. For one, local governments have been known to reduce the time a traffic light stays yellow - from 3.8 seconds to 1.7 seconds, in one case - to increase the chance of a person being unable to stop, thus "catching" an unsafe driver to gain revenue. Also, speeding is not, in fact, the leading cause of fatal car accidents. Drunk drivers account for 40% of all fatal car accidents, while speeding, in second, accounts for 30%.