Speed Cameras Don't Work
from the try-that-again dept
Bob Dole writes "A think tank down under released a study today (summary only) that examines speed camera use. It finds that despite the hype that the devices save lives, the introduction of cameras in the UK actually interrupted a downward trend in accidents. "If the 1966-93 trend line had continued until 2001 there would have been 825 fewer fatalities." Despite heavy speed camera use in Britain and Australia, "road speeds have not slowed significantly, the downward trend in serious accidents and fatalities has been almost totally lost, hundreds of thousands of the safest drivers are convicted each year and the goodwill between law abiding citizens and the police is evaporating. In the midst of all this, British and Australian State governments are selling their speed campaigns as a great success." Instead of doing real police work, they put up a camera. And make lots of money." It's that "make lots of money" aspect that means that the decision makers believe it works. Many governments and police departments will admit that enforcing the speed limit is not done for safety reasons, but as a revenue generator. I remember, back when states in the northeast were raising the highway speed limit from 55 to 65, someone I know who worked in the Connecticut state government saying that they wouldn't dare raise it there for a while, since it would cut out a huge revenue driver. Update: Someone sent me an email pointer to a full copy of the study (in pdf format) that has been placed online.