Speed cameras aren't helping: Study

Motorists around the world know that speed cameras are a money grab, but now we've got science backing us up.
Motorists around the world know that speed cameras are a money grab, but now we've got science backing us up.

We all hate speed cameras and know they’re just a money grab that don’t make us safer, right? Well, now we’ve got science backing those claims up.

David Finney, a U.K.-based engineer, has examined data from the Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership. He went over accident statistics from 24 months before the group installed speed cameras, to 24 months after. Guess what the results were?

Finney saw only a slight decrease in accidents in areas where permanent speed cameras were installed, and a slight increase in areas where mobile cameras were installed. Overall, accident numbers only dropped 0.2 per cent.

You can read Finney’s full report here, complete with details about the motivation behind the study, which Finney, a motorcyclist, funded his own study, after he was initially curious about the co-relation between speed and accident statistics (he doesn’t have any speed camera points on his record). Finney has plenty of interesting information on this subject as well. He found that even in areas where speed cameras slowed drivers down, there was no real effect on accident statistics.

But don’t take our word for it – check the whole report out. It’s well worth the read.



  1. We’ve got photo radar in Montreal set up a couple years ago as a ‘pilot project’.
    They’ve had 2 effects.
    1) The overall speed drops down to the limit immediately before the very-highly marked camera (including rumble strips in some areas) and for about 100 m afterward as people slam on their brakes.
    2) They earn just enough revenue to cover the cost of the camera installation and operation.

    That’s it. Where these cameras are set up people pretty much have to go with the flow anyway. Traffic is almost always heavy enough that deviating from the flow is near impossible.
    All the cameras do is decrease the speed of traffic for a a quarter-kilometre… Hardly seems worth it.

  2. Or perhaps it is simply-  If drivers are concentrating more time/attention looking at their speedometers and “correcting” speed, they are devoting less attention on the actual traffic situation around them.  Speed cameras/traps encourage drivers to concentrate on numerical speed limits at the expense of other situational driving requirements.  Just like cell phones, GPS’s, music players etc that are so prominently held to be “bad” and worthy of fines.  

    •  Sorry man, I don’t buy that.
      Paying attention to your speed is part of good driving.
      Especially on a bike, where “effortless” speed requires more diligence.
      Not preaching, just can’t agree with that angle.

      •  Speed limit set correctly will “feel right” to the majority of drivers (like, 85% of them) thus *almost* removing the need to watch the speedometer (or watch for cops). Speed limit set too low means everyone watches either the speedo or watches for cops or watches for speed cameras. Speed limit set correctly will *almost* eliminate the need for enforcement except for gross violators. Speed limit set too low is an invitation for being a fishing hole …

  3. So I assume you would prefer that we use the officers “trained eye” to tell if we are speeding or not??  Bad idea…my position is, if you don’t want a ticket, don’t speed…it’s quite simple…and yes, I’ve received a few pics of my vehicles in the mail, but guess what?  I was speeding, so I earned it…I would rather they used the cameras than police officers whose time could be better spent on other criminal activities.

    The problem with the accidents isn’t really the speed, speed just makes the accidents more severe…what causes the accidents is us, the drivers/riders…I think it is just too easy to get a license here and we have too many “unskilled” drivers/riders…most don’t or didn’t take any driver training, just went in and took the test…maybe with some coaching from mom or dad, but no official training.

    This topic always generates a lot of responses no matter where the question is posted because a lot of people see driving as their RIGHT, when really it is a PRIVILEGE…


  4. Can I get an Amen? Finney’s report supports every other study conducted by independent investigation I’ve ever read. I’m sure that similar facts would be uncovered if the standard radar/laser form of speed enforcement used around the world was put under similar scrutiny. Makes ya go hmmmm…. don’t it!

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