Tag Archives: speed cameras

In other news… speed cameras and does online campaigning work?

Jonathan Calder reports how Cornish councillor Jeremy Rowe is finding Twitter useful as a way to communicate with residents in his area who are hard to reach through traditional politics. Cllr Rowe’s local experience compliments the message that Google search data gives about people wanting to find politicians on Twitter. (If you are a councillor or local candidate and wondering how to build-up your own local following, see The secret to getting 1,000 ward residents to follow you on Twitter.)

Speed cameraPaul Walter reports …

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Speed cameras: how did the lottery turn out?

Last month I blogged about an experiment in Sweden where a speed camera records all the cars keeping to the speed limit with all the legal drivers going into a prize draw for cash prizes. The trial has now been carried out and here’s the result (quick version – the average speed of traffic fell from 32 km/hour before the trail to 25 km/hour during the trial):

Posted in News | 4 Comments

Speed cameras: what does the evidence say?

Welcome to another in my occasional series on useful, interesting or controversial findings from academic studies. Today’s it is the question of speed cameras, for which a study of international evidence has recently been conducted:

To evaluate the effectiveness of speed cameras, the authors examined all eligible studies, that is, studies that met pre-set standard criteria. We analysed the effect of speed cameras on speeding, road traffic crashes, injuries and deaths by comparing what was happening in road areas before the introduction of speed cameras and after their introduction, and also by analysing what was happening in comparable road areas where no speed cameras were introduced during the study period.

The authors accepted a total of 35 studies for review which met the pre-set criteria. All studies reporting speed outcomes reported a reduction in average speeds post intervention with speed cameras. Speed was also reported as either reductions in the percentage of speeding vehicles (drivers), as percentage speeding reductions over various speed limits, or as reductions in percentages of top end speeders. A reduction in the proportion of speeding vehicles (drivers) over the accepted posted speed limit, ranged from 8% to 70% with most countries reporting reductions in the 10 to 35% range.

Speed cameraTwenty eight studies measured the effect on crashes. All 28 studies found a lower number of crashes in the speed camera areas after implementation of the program. In the vicinity of camera sites, the reductions ranged from 8% to 49% for all crashes, with reductions for most studies in the 14% to 25% range. For injury crashes the decrease ranged between 8% to 50% and for crashes resulting in fatalities or serious injuries the reductions were in the range of 11% to 44%. Effects over wider areas showed reductions for all crashes ranging from 9% to 35%, with most studies reporting reductions in the 11% to to 27% range. For crashes resulting in death or serious injury reductions ranged from 17% to 58%, with most studies reporting this result in the 30% to 40% reduction range. The studies of longer duration showed that these positive trends were either maintained or improved with time.

The quality of the included studies in this review was judged as being of overall moderate quality at best, however, the consistency of reported positive reductions in speed and crash results across all studies show that speed cameras are a worthwhile intervention for reducing the number of road traffic injuries and deaths.

To affirm this finding, higher quality studies, using well designed controlled trials where possible, and studies conducted over adequate length of time (including lengthy follow-up periods) with sufficient data collection points, both before and after the implementation of speed cameras, are needed.

Speed Camera Impact

Posted in What do the academics say? | 12 Comments

Why not make speed cameras reward good drivers?

Carrot or stick? It’s a common policy debate – do you get the best outcome by punishing or encouraging?

Speed cameraAt the moment, it most frequently comes up in political debates over the environment, and in particular recycling. Can recycling levels best be raised by encouragement, such as discounts for recycling more of your waste, or by threats, such as legal limits on how much you can place in your bins?

It is a question that can be applied much more widely, which is why I was interested …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 36 Comments

Daft speed camera story of the day

The BBC is keenly promoting a story about speed cameras.

The cameras have been switched off in Oxfordshire: they still measure the speed of passing motorists, but no longer take pictures. Motorists can therefore speed with impunity and remain point-less.

The shocking news is that, after this change, the cameras have recorded more speeding motorists than before.

In Cowley some 62 people were clocked speeding, representing a rise of 88%.

And in Woodstock 110 drivers were over the 30mph limit, which is 18% more than the average for 2010.

Why daft? Because it tells us nothing useful.

We’d expect more people to speed …

Posted in News | 22 Comments

Does Richard Tracey understand his own recommendations?

London Assembly Member Richard Tracey has past form on writing odd letters to local newspapers in London. In August I reported on his claims that a Tory mayor and Tory boroughs were responsible for London not seeing a rise in unemployment – when in fact unemployment, sadly, has soared across the whole of London.
Now he has sent this letter to Southwark News:

“The introduction of speed cameras to enforce 20mph zones in Southwark, Waltham Forest and other London boroughs is bad for London’s hard-pressed motorists.
There are already too many revenue-raising speed cameras on the capital’s roads, London does not need more.

Furthermore, there is a danger that large areas of average speed-check cameras will encourage drivers to concentrate on their speedometers instead of the road; which would have a counter-productive effect on safety.

Many road-users feel that congestion means journeys in London already take too long and 20mph speed limits will force people to spend even longer in their cars. Not to mention that driving at 20mph causes even more pollution and higher CO2 emissions than driving at 30mph.

Richard Tracey, London Assembly Conservative Transport spokesman”

Richard Tracey might have a point that speed cameras are not popular, but he does seem to be exaggerating just how many would be necessary to ensure that 20 mph zones are effectively enforced.

Posted in London and News | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments
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