A YouGov survey has found that 48 per cent of Britons think that CCTV and speed cameras have made our roads safer, reports The Telegraph. A further 34 per cent say these measures make no difference, while 10 per cent believe they have made the roads worse.
The survey – which was conducted for ITV two-part documentary, Car Crash Britain: Caught on Camera – also revealed a gender divide with 40 per cent of men wanting fewer cameras compared to 25 per cent of women.
Research carried out in 2010 by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) found that there was often something of a contradiction in drivers’ views. While people tended to recognise speed cameras’ safety benefits, there was also a reluctance to face paying a fine if caught speeding themselves.
Kevin Delaney IAM Head of Road Safety, described a common attitude as being the opposite of Nimbyism with people wanting a speed camera in their own back yard, but nowhere else.
“A lot of people like the idea of a camera on their street, slowing the traffic and making their area safer, but feel cheated when they confront one on a main road or in a different area. Rather than being purely hypocritical, it suggests drivers are seeing the lifesaving effects of cameras, but resent being caught out by them.”
That particular survey focused on councils’ decisions to switch off cameras and it too highlighted a gender divide with 55 per cent of men in favour of cameras being switched off, but only 33 per cent of women.
This latest YouGov survey also asked whether technology in cars has improved driving standards – referring to the dashboard and helmet cam footage which is heavily used in Car Crash Britain. Just 33 per cent of people felt that this technology had improved driving standards, while 54 per cent said it had either made no difference or had actually made driving standards worse.
Yesterday we reported that the government's record on road safety had come under attack after new figures revealed that nearly 25,000 people were killed or seriously injured on British roads in the year to September 2014 – a four per cent rise compared to the previous 12-month period.
Strikingly, 3,500 cyclists were either killed or seriously injured – a year-on-year increase of eight per cent – while the number of riders suffering slight injuries was up 11 per cent to 17,650.
The Police Federation’s lead on traffic, Jayne Willetts, said that cameras couldn’t make up for a 12 per cent drop in the number of road policing officers resulting from austerity measures.
“We welcome hi-tech developments, including the emerging smart motorway network, but the increasing reliance on automated technology and cameras can’t compensate for the decline in traffic police, who are the most effective way of combating dangerous drivers, drink drivers and people using mobile phones while driving.”