While a sizeable majority of drivers in the UK support the use of speed cameras, many suspect they are used to raise revenue and are not solely sited at collision hotspots.
These are among the key finding from a national survey conducted by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).
The survey polled 1,000 drivers of all age groups across Britain, split into 11 regional areas. 79% of respondents agreed that it is acceptable to use speed cameras to identify vehicles involved in speeding offences.
The survey also found big variations across the country – with Londoners and people in the north-east appearing to ‘show higher levels of resistance’ to the use of cameras.
Only 69% of Londoners polled approved the use of cameras, down from 85% in 2011, while in the north-east approval is down from 84% to 70%. The north-west, Yorkshire and Humber and Scotland have also all seen acceptability of cameras decrease over the four year period since the survey was last conducted.
The survey also revealed that less than half of drivers believe speed cameras are only sited at collision sites, although in eight of the eleven regions there was an increase in the number believing this to be true.
While in eight of the 11 regions more than 80% of respondents believe that speed cameras have ‘helped’ to reduce casualties, the survey also shows that the majority of respondents ‘disagree’ that ‘raising money from fines is not the motive for speed cameras’. The full results can be found here.
Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: “It is clear that most drivers accept that speed cameras are effective in reducing the numbers of people who are killed and seriously injured, but for many there is still an unfortunate link to revenue raising and a perception they are not always in the right places.
“Public support is very important when it comes to effective speed camera operation. They will respect them if they can see their effectiveness and worthiness, and these regional variations highlight where extra work is needed to convince drivers of the benefits and to counter media perceptions and urban myths around cameras.”