High-mileage drivers dismissive of cameras

12.00 | 27 July 2015 | | 6 comments

High-mileage drivers are more likely than those who drive fewer miles to think speed cameras have ‘little or no influence’ in reducing the numbers of casualties, according to a paper published by the IAM.

The paper, titled Speed Cameras – The Views of High Mileage Drivers, found 28% of high-mileage drivers have a ‘negative view of cameras’ – 10% more than other drivers.

The paper is based on a survey of 1,000 high, medium and low-mileage drivers in which one in six low mileage drivers were ‘sceptical of the positive influence of speed cameras’, compared to one in four high-mileage drivers. It also found that more than half of the high mileage drivers surveyed felt cameras are ‘little more than a money making tool’ – more than the other categories.

The white paper was commissioned by IAM Drive & Survive, the IAM’s commercial division which provides driver risk management services including tuition for companies and fleets.

The IAM says that with more than 6,000 speed cameras in operation across the UK, the “time was right to ask if there was any greater acceptance of them among drivers who spend the greatest amount of time on the roads”.

27% of high-mileage drivers surveyed believe cameras have not assisted in reducing road casualties, compared to 20% of medium-mileage drivers and 16% of low-mileage drivers.

When asked how acceptable is it for authorities to use cameras to identify vehicles involved in speeding offences, 28% of high mileage drivers said unacceptable, compared to 18% of medium-mileage drivers and 17% of low-mileage drivers. 

Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: “It is clear that there is a very big task when it comes to making high-mileage drivers see the worth of measures to reduce speeding. While we know that speeding is not the only cause of accidents and injuries, it is one of the major ones.

“Employers need to work with their employees to ensure that they appreciate the part they play in making our roads safer.”




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    It’s rather a shame that the survey team went to all this trouble without asking the one obvious, subsequent question – does your opinion on the effectiveness of cameras make a difference to your behaviour? In fairness this is a survey undertaken by a commercial organisation with a service to sell – and fleet managers who think that safety features provided by others are sufficient, and reduce or remove the need to intervene at an organisational level, do not make good customers. So it is what it is – and what it’s not is something that is really going to further the debate.

    That said, if you’re going to run a survey answerable questions are a good place to start… Questions 5 and 7 really aren’t and Question 8 is loaded.

    Jeremy, Devon
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    I notice the IAM’s press release has not emphasised the more obvious and significant statistic – that the majority of those surveyed did not seem to have any problem with speed cameras – still one of those ‘so what?’ surveys though.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    Given that few if any of the drivers surveyed would have done their own in-depth statistical analysis of the casualty figures you would suspect all they can offer is opinions.

    Duncan MacKillop. No surprise – No accident
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    I find myself in complete agreement with Dave. Although I actually think that a scientific trial will prove that they are a: ineffective b: dangerous in certain circumstances. and c: make a lot of money for vested interest groups and companies.

    Steve Armstrong, Halifax UK.
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    Another useful survey from the IAM – I know I sleep easy at night knowing they’re leaving no stone unturned in their quest for the answers to pointless questions which nobody else ever wonders about anyway.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    This issue has a simple solution, run speed cameras within scientific trials.

    The problem is not that citizens don’t believe that speed cameras produce safety benefits, the problem is that there is no reliable evidence that speed cameras DO produce safety benefits. If that evidence were provided, the matter would be settled beyond doubt. That, though, cannot be done with theories, models, estimates and mathematics, it requires scientific trials (the same approach used for new medical drugs).

    We have continual opportunities to run scientific trials: smart motorways, conversion to digital, the new average speed cameras (definitely in fashion at the moment) etc. Do we want road safety policies to be evidence-led? I suggest we do.

    Dave Finney, Slough
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