Road Safety News
 

IAM issues cameras warning

Tuesday 19th November 2013

While the vast majority of the motoring public still appear to support the use of speed cameras, the number is slightly smaller than this time last year, according to a study published today (19/11/13) by the IAM. 

The findings have led to the IAM saying there is “still skepticism” about cameras among the motoring public, and Simon Best, IAM chief executive to say that “drivers are increasingly seeing speed cameras as revenue raising apparatus”.

The IAM study shows that 80% of motorists accept the use of speed cameras, down 1% on last year’s survey. 79% of respondents think that cameras are useful to reducing injuries, a fall of 6% from the 2012 findings.

Over half of respondents (52%) do not believe that cameras are only sited at locations where accidents happen – and almost half think that raising money is the main purpose of cameras. 

Support for speed awareness courses has increased. Three quarters of respondents support the use of speed awareness courses - up from 70% year on year.

Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said: "Speed cameras are a successful road safety solution at key crash sites and it’s important that the Government and safety camera partnerships work to maintain a positive view so that the rising suspicion amongst motorists does not become a trend.

“During times of austerity, drivers are increasingly seeing speed cameras as revenue raising apparatus and are skeptical of their importance for road safety.”

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What would have been revealing is how many (if any) IAM members had speeding convictions themselves.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (7) | Disagree (0)
+7

http://iamdra.org.uk/course-information/about-the-iam/
says: "The IAM Driver Retraining Academy (IAM DRA) has been established to provide drivers with a reputable provider of courses for drink drive rehabilitation and SPEED AWARENESS."

What we have here, in my opinion, is an exercise in business promotion for the IAM. It is cloaked as a warning to government about a "sceptical" public but its purpose is to bolster the view that speed cameras need to be used so that the speed awareness course business continues. And all based on just 1004 responses.
Eric Bridgstock, Independent Road Safety Research, St Albans

Agree (6) | Disagree (6)
0

Reading the actual IAM report, rather than 2nd or 3rd hand comments about it, shows "We asked the extent that drivers agree with the statement ‘Raising money from fines is not the motive for speed cameras’." So to say that "almost half think that raising money is the main purpose of cameras" is not actually supported by the evidence found by the IAM.

I don't see it as all that strange that many people (even many drivers) both support the use of cameras to detect or deter bad drivers speeding etc. AND support using cameras to make those caught breaking the law pay in monetary terms.
David S

Agree (4) | Disagree (4)
0

These statistics are a bit strange. "79% of respondents think that cameras are useful to reducing injuries" and "almost half think that raising money is the main purpose of cameras".

That means that at least 20% think that "cameras are useful to reducing injuries" and also that "raising money is the main purpose of cameras". Does that make any sense? I wonder what and how the actual questions were asked, and who answered them?
Dave Taylor, Guildford

Agree (8) | Disagree (2)
+6

Strange that polls show public approval but I never meet anyone who approves, instead its always "it's cash, not safety".

Might this discrepancy arise from the ease with which skewed questions, analysis and presentation can manipulate responses, especially when respondents know little or nothing of the subject other than the propaganda the IAM encourages with "it's important that the Government and safety camera partnerships work to maintain a positive view"?

Oddly enough, one of the IAM's branch meetings warmly thanked me recently for my presentation, using Stats19 data, showing that the accident reductions across the country claimed as camera benefit occur during the delay of a year or more between selecting sites and installation.
Idris Francis Fight Back with Facts Petersfield

Agree (7) | Disagree (9)
-2

Public opinion is important because safety messages are most effective with a public that trusts the authorities. The public have a right, though, to competent analysis and honest, unbiased information on which to form their opinion. With speed cameras, in my opinion, this has not been the case.

The public has been faced with reasonably constant PR putting the case in favour of speed cameras by the dedicated communications managers the partnerships employed and by the IAM themselves. So the public were told speed cameras improve road safety and then the surveys asked if the public had believed what they had been told. I wonder what public opinion polls would have found had the public received more balanced and unbiased information?
Dave Finney, Slough

Agree (7) | Disagree (8)
-1

How can they say at key crash sites? I can remember some years ago an article in the national press papers in which Mr Blair categorically stated that there would be absolutely no increase in the number of cameras as from that date.

In the local press that same night it was reported that Blackpool had just doubled the number of cameras from 18 to 36. Three were placed around where I live with no reference to any accidents actually at those situations, but of other minor incidents on minor roads within half a mile of those new camera locations.

Cameras are no longer required - I have no doubt that they will eventually fall into disrepair just as the majority are doing at this moment.
bob craven Lancs

Agree (5) | Disagree (14)
-9

The IAM seem to do a lot of public opinion surveys don't they? When it comes down to it, does it matter anyway?
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (11) | Disagree (5)
+6

Nick
I will agree that neither Mick Say's presentation nor the IAM survey are good or reliable indicators of what the public think.
Eric Bridgstock, Independent Road Safety Research, St Albans

Agree (14) | Disagree (5)
+9

Slight (but important) correction if I may, Eric.
Mick Say's presentation at Conference showed what people who really hate speed cameras post on the internet, which is not necessarily the same as "what the public really think about cameras".
Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety News

Agree (22) | Disagree (1)
+21

The Government can fool some of the people etc.

When one looks at the loaded questions in the these surveys, it becomes clear that public support is more of an illusion than the Government would care to admit. Mick Say's presentation about internet search engines at the Conference showed what the public really think about speed cameras when they not being manipulated by vested interests.
Eric Bridgstock, Independent Road Safety Research, St Albans

Agree (9) | Disagree (13)
-4

Eric
Apologies if our headline is not clear. Our interprutation is that the IAM appears to be warning the government and camera partnerships that they need to "work to maintain a positive view" of cameras among motorists.
Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety News

Agree (5) | Disagree (1)
+4

Who, exactly, is being warned about what?
Eric Bridgstock, Independent Road Safety Research, St Albans

Agree (6) | Disagree (3)
+3