A new survey published by the IAM has produced conflicting findings with regard to public opinion of safety cameras.
On the one hand the survey shows that just 29% of Britain’s motorists think that safety cameras are only used at sites with a bad record of crashes and injuries, and 50% think that raising money is their primary aim.
However, the same survey also reveals that support for safety cameras is at 79%, with the highest level of support in London (85%) and the lowest in the North East (67%).
The figures are revealed in the IAM’s latest report, ‘Public Opinions of Speed Cameras’, which is based on a survey of more than 1,000 people.
The survey also says that 70% of motorists agree that speed awareness courses are a better idea than prosecution. The greatest support for this is among 17 to 24 year-olds with 82% in agreement. In contrast, 65% of the over 65s think they are a good replacement for prosecution.
81% of respondents think that safety cameras have contributed to falling road death rates over the past decade and nearly half think that road deaths and serious injuries would increase if cameras were turned off.
Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “Support for cameras is strong as is support for speed awareness training rather than fines or points.
“Prosecuting and fining drivers does not improve driving skills or awareness of the hazards of excessive speed. Training would reduce the number of casualties and prosecutions. That so many young people want this is very positive.
“Many motorists are still cynical about the aims and deployment of speed cameras and much more work needs to be done to dispel their negative perceptions. In times of cut-backs to police budgets, speed cameras are an essential part of the policing toolkit, but it’s clear that the public need reassuring about their purpose and funding.”
For more information contact the IAM Press Office on 020 8996 9777.