Nearly 80% of motorists believe average speed cameras play ‘a greater role in road safety’ than traditional ‘one location’ cameras, according to a new survey.
The RAC survey of 2,172 motorists, published today (29 June), found that 79% believe average speed cameras are better at slowing down vehicles – compared to 9% who felt single location cameras were more effective.
While 70% of respondents felt traditional speed cameras were effective at getting drivers to slow down at their specific location, 80% said they made little difference beyond where they are sited.
86% of respondents felt average speed cameras were either very or reasonably effective – with only 12% describing them as not very effective.
When asked if they felt one type of camera was fairer on motorists, 46% said that it was not a question of whether one is fairer than the other, but that they are both there to improve road safety.
Among those who thought average speed cameras were fairer, 81% claimed they promote a ‘smoother driving style’ and ‘more consistent driving speeds’, rather than drivers ‘hitting the brakes to conform to the limit briefly’ when driving past a single location camera.
However, the survey suggests that motorists’ opinions about the purpose of speed cameras as a whole are still divided.
While 37% of respondents believe they are intended to improve road safety, 27% claim they are primarily used to raise cash from drivers – 36% believe they fulfill both purposes.
Pete Williams, RAC road safety spokesman, said: “We know that some drivers can be very cynical about speed cameras, with a significant minority having told us they believe they are more about raising revenue than they are about road safety.
“Interestingly, these latest findings show there is now a strong acceptance that they are there to help save lives and prevent casualties on the road, although more than a third claim they are about both road safety and raising revenue.
“Our research suggests the growing use of average speed cameras in motorway roadworks and increasingly on sections of A-road is reinforcing the road safety message as they are extremely effective at slowing down drivers.
“For instance, on the A9 in Scotland the number of deaths has halved since average speed cameras were introduced between Dunblane and Inverness in October 2014.
“This type of use of average speed cameras, together with the constant addition of more miles of smart motorways with strictly enforced variable speed limits, may be contributing to a shift in perception in favour of regulated speed enforcement over longer stretches of road.”