Safety Cameras

Safety Cameras


Higher vehicle speeds increase the risk of RTIs, as well as increasing the severity of RTIs when they occur. Therefore, reducing vehicle speeds to the posted speed limit will help to achieve reductions in RTIs and the severity of injuries that occur.

Safety cameras provide one way of reducing speeds as well as discouraging dangerous driving (such as jumping red lights). The implementation of these cameras has been met with some opposition from a minority of motorists who believe that they are simply a money generating mechanism for the Treasury. This has given rise to a vociferous ongoing debate as to whether safety cameras provide a real benefit to road safety.

There is a substantial (and growing) body of evidence which suggests that safety cameras have a positive effect on reducing vehicle speeds, RTI rates and injury severity.

Studies show, with very few exceptions, that the installation of safety cameras has helped to reduce vehicle speeds and RTIs. Average speed cameras have been shown to be even more effective at reducing speeds over larger sections of road than fixed point cameras.

Parties responsible for road safety and RTI prevention firmly believe that these published studies clearly demonstrate the association between safety cameras and RTI reduction. This synthesis shows that whilst this evidence base is substantial, there are some calls for more robust studies to be undertaken. While some researchers indicate that the data collection and analysis methods could be improved, cameras have had at least some impact on vehicle speeds.

Opponents of the cameras often cite the phenomenon of regression-to-mean as a reason for the reduction in speeds and RTIs. It is for this reason that more robust data collection and analysis would be of benefit in clarifying if the reductions in vehicle speeds and RTIs are a result of cameras, or the regression-to-mean phenomenon. Latest research, taking into account factors like regression-to-mean, site-selection period and trend influences still found clear and significant safety effects of speed cameras, at the speed cameras sites for fixed cameras or for the stretch of road covered by average speed camera systems.

Safety cameras can be used in a variety of locations and in a range of different ways. Fixed point speed cameras are used on rural and urban roads as well as motorways to enforce speed limits at a particular location. Fixed point cameras can also be used to enforce variable speed limits on sections of managed motorways, such as the M42. Average speed cameras enforce a speed limit over a large section of road by calculating a vehicle’s average speed between two points. While they are permanently employed throughout a number of towns and cities in the UK, they are most commonly used for enforcing speed limits through roadworks.

Red light cameras provide a deterrent to dangerous driving by triggering the prosecution process which ultimately fines offending drivers for jumping red lights. Fixed cameras are found to be effective in reducing collision incidence even after being switched off. Finally, cameras are also being used to monitor overweight vehicles crossing structures such as bridges, which might be damaged by excessive weight.

  • Date Added: 03 Apr 2012, 03:02 PM
  • Last Update: 19 May 2017, 05:36 PM