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Tuesday, 7 August, 2001, 09:55 GMT 10:55 UK
Should there be more speed cameras?
Half of all drivers would actually support an increase in the number of speed cameras, a new poll has revealed.

The survey by Mori found that seven out of 10 drivers accepted that cameras reduced crashes, saved lives and made motorists slow down.

Yet the chief constable of Norfolk, Ken Williams, has said speed cameras should not be hidden or disguised.

He believes concealing cameras to catch out more speeding drivers risks alienating them.

Is it a mistake to conceal speed cameras? Do more speed cameras on the roads make for safer drivers?

This Talking has now been closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


IF speed cameras were placed where there is a real need, and IF realistic limits were set, and IF there was consistency across the country, I would support cameras. As it is there is none of this. How much would the accident rate be affected if the money was spent on more road safety training in schools, more public information films on the TV and better road maintenance? Surely removing the cause of an accident is a more important target than lessening the effect of the accident?
Trevor, UK

Speeding motorists have resulted in chicanes, speed bumps, cameras and other calming measures which are a pain for everyone. It's quite simple really, don't speed and you don't get caught. If you think speed limits should be greater, take it up with your local council, but don't speed. There is no excuse for speeding, whatsoever. If more hidden cameras can help adjust motorists attitudes to speeding, let's do it!
Tony Weddle, UK

I'm all for more speed cameras. In Sydney, the problem lies with the media - radio stations broadcast locations of the newest speed and radar cameras, urging drivers to slow down. That just defeats the purpose - if you are moronic enough to be speeding in the first place, get caught and lose your licence! Warning louts like this just adds to the problem. On one hand the police are busting their guts trying to crack down on people who speed, on the other hand you have the media just contributing to the problem.
Sujatha, Australia


It seems that the authorities would rather collect a fine than prevent an accident

Brian Worboys, UK
With the proliferation of speed cameras the signs that used to warn of an accident black spot seem to have disappeared. It seems that the authorities would rather collect a fine than prevent an accident. So much for safety orientation.
Brian Worboys, UK

Speed cameras are fair provided the speed limit is reasonable. However, on far too many roads the speed limit is set for political reasons rather than the speed the road can actually sustain. In almost all instances 30 mph is too slow.
Carl, USA

Andrew UK, I would hope you are in favour of UK motorways becoming more like German autobahns. They have, despite their unlimited speed limits, a lower death and injury rate. Proving beyond any reasonable doubt that speed DOES NOT kill. Inappropriate use of speed however does cause death and injury but that is not a law enforcement issue, it is an education issue. It is perfectly possible to drive safely at high-speed - UK police officers do it every day.
David, UK

The problem I find with speed cameras is that you tend to look for them and by doing this you are not concentrating on the road, increasing the risk of an accident. I don't think you should be informed if you are approaching a speed camera.
Craig, England


Most of them are in the wrong place!

Tino, UK
Martin Clapham - The whole point of speed cameras is to prevent speeding. If the cameras are prominent and easy to spot it will only serve to slow down drivers when passing the cameras and then simply speed on when the threat has passed. Making sure that the camera's aren't easily identifiable will ensure that people will stick to the speed limit at all times because of the element of uncertainty. I feel you have misunderstood the reasons for speed cameras and their necessity in helping to prevent accidents.
Jim, England

Speed cameras are only part of the solution. The UK should adopt the system used in many other countries, where a chime sounds when the national speed limit is exceeded. I think that many people inadvertently exceed the limit, simply because looking down at the speedometer takes eyes off the road. At 70 MPH, even this brief glance can be enough to miss something, and end up with an accident.
John Atkins, UK

If speed cameras are so successful then let's have more of them! Also worth considering is having more signs clearly indicating the local speed limit, even showing decreasing limits every 30 miles as one leaves the motorway or approaches town as they do in France. That way there is no excuse for not knowing what the speed limit is meant to be.
Hazel, UK

In many US States the police have to provide speed advisory units when requested by three members of the public. These units display the current speed limit and your speed. These are left in an area for two weeks. Then four weeks later the police set up radar. Surely prevention and education is better than alienating the public from the police by fining without warning.
Edward Teague, UK

Spend more time fining those idiots that park in bus lanes, double yellow lines junctions, etc. If the roads flowed better, drivers wouldn't have to feel the need for speeding to make up lost time etc.
Tel, UK


If speed cameras are so successful then let's have more of them!

Hazel, UK
I'd rather see heavy penalties for tailgaters - one of whom has just written off my new car.
Kathryn, UK

I would love to see more speed cameras in town, and at accident black spots, instead of the speed bumps that allow all the fat cats in their wide cars to go as fast as they want, while I have to go at 5 MPH over them or risk having my suspension ripped off. But they should be more visible of have more appropriately placed signs so that people are not slamming on their brakes at the last minute. On places such as motorways and open roads cameras for braking distance would be far more effective at catching dangerous drivers.
Robert Powell, England

I can't believe that people are so blinkered as to believe that speed is the primary cause of accidents. Careless idiots who just pull out into traffic without looking are the real cause, but speeding is easier for the police to target which is why it gets all the attention. On motorways they should crack down on idiots who sit in the middle lane as they are dangerous and cause congestion.
Doug, UK

All the comments so far have laid the blame for accidents at the driver who is driving "too fast". But in most cases it takes two to cause an accident. Very often the driver who is speeding is the one who has priority and who hits the car or pedestrian who has actually caused the accident by being where they shouldn't be. Yes, spend money educating drivers, but also educate pedestrians, cyclists and other road users that the ALL have equal responsibility for making sure that they don't cause accidents. The speeding motorist is not the only villain of the piece.
Mark, UK

I feel that speed cameras have a place on Britain's roads, the only problem is that most of them are in the wrong place! And there is only a limited amount of places that they are needed
Tino, UK

Everyone on this page whingeing about "stealth tax" and secret revenue building - well, boys (and I bet they all are boys), the answer is simple. DON'T BREAK THE LAW. You all seem to think that you are better judges of what is a safe speed than the people who set the speed limits - umm, I don't think so. Rather smacks of the cat guarding the canary. Accept it and move on. In any case, as has been proved on the M25 and the occasional lower speed limits, slower speeds mean fewer bottlenecks which means fewer traffic jams which means... do I have to spell it out? I vote for digital speed cameras, hundreds and thousands of them, all working 24/7 sending instantaneous details via modem. O, and I ride a motorbike and drive a car.
Edward, UK

If the law listened to half the 'citizens' on here then we'd be looking at a situation where each person would decide what speed is right for the road, every road would become an autobahn and more people would be killed. But every day I see the actions of drivers who speed and tailgate others that dare to drive at the speed limit - they wouldn't care less. My message - stop breaking the law.
Andrew, UK


If you can't drive in accordance with the rules, you should walk

Pete, UK
If a sign says 30, accept it and drive at 30. It's all very well saying "let drivers use their own judgment", but regrettably a large number of drivers think that it's perfectly safe for them to drive at 60mph in a 30 zone. Are we supposed to say "oh well, they judged that they could do that, so we can't complain"? Even if the limits are "arbitrary", people should have the intelligence to realise that there is a reason for the limits. If you can't drive in accordance with the rules, you should walk.
Pete, UK

Speed cameras are a bad idea. If you are driving the posted speed limit of 55mph and everyone else is driving 70mph, you are the greatest threat on the road. Yet the speed camera would ticket someone who is moving at the speed of traffic. Speed limits are ridiculously low and have not been updated since the 70's. Cameras cannot use judgement to see if someone's speed is dangerous or a threat to other drivers. Only a police officer can make that sort of judgement. Now cameras for running red lights is another thing. That's just dangerous no matter what. Put cameras at traffic intersections instead.
Jordan Medeiros, USA

What I've found personally is that speed cameras that point forward make me slow down. The idea being that you are timed between 2 different cameras, at different points on a road and your average speed is calculated. They are far better than the 'ordinary' cameras that do nothing for road safety.
Ian, UK


We should have to prove competency to drive on a regular basis

Mark, UK
Most police officers will tell you that speed in itself isn't dangerous, it's the INAPPROPRIATE use of speed that is the problem. Using speed cameras to enforce limits is a an easy political option. We really need to tackle all the issues relating to poor driving such as tailgating, inattentiveness, use of mobile phones, aggressive driving and so on. The driving standards need to be much tougher, even to the extent of having licences taken away from people before they commit offences or have accidents. We should have to prove competency to drive on a regular basis. Pilots have to do this, why not drivers?
Mark, UK

The statement which introduced this conversation thread is derived from yet more mis-information released by this government who seek to establish support for their unfair revenue generating schemes by incorrectly reporting that this is what the people want. One look at the entries contained here will prove to any doubters that this is not what people want at all!
Ed, England

The next time you see a section of road where the speed limit has changed from 70mph to 50mph and fresh new cameras are installed, it will be pretty clear what their real purpose is. Law-abiding drivers today are being made to become socially unacceptable drivers tomorrow - all for the sake of revenue. And what about new roads that have cameras from day one? Shouldn't the road planners be prosecuted for building an obviously "faulty" road? Let's make sure they are only used in the real accident blackspots from now on, so we don't all lose what little respect for cameras we have.
Jonathan, United Kingdom


The day will shortly arrive when these expensive speed cameras will be destroyed by disgusted motorists

KB, UK
In a democratic society such as our own, does the fact that a vast majority of a nations citizens willingly and openly break a law (speed limit) call into doubt the validity of that law? The point in a democracy is that the government rules with the consent of the governed. Why not put a box on our road tax reminders asking if we want more speed cameras? If not, the government does not have our consent! The day will shortly arrive when these expensive speed cameras will be destroyed in their hundreds by disgusted motorists (citizens).

As to those who tow the 'don't speed, don't worry' line, I'll expect you to be out of your local not a minute later than 11:20, and don't dare sip a drink or adjust your radio whilst driving - that would be reckless - and stay out of the middle lane!
KB, UK

As a car driver I hate speed cameras with a vengeance, but they are the only deterrent that works. I would like to see a great increase in visible speed cameras as these reduce injuries on the roads. I would suggest that the money raised from fines be used to improve the roads and public transport, as car drivers are paying far too much in road and fuel taxes.
Rob, N. Ireland

The Government's own figures show that only around 6% of accidents are caused primarily by drivers exceeding the posted speed limits. The rest are caused by plain bad driving. Speed has been demonised, with the result that numerous bad drivers smugly assume that they are 'safe' drivers simply because they stick to the posted limits, despite the fact that they tailgate, undertake, pull out without looking, use mobile phones, and sometimes drive too fast for the prevailing conditions. If cameras were placed in areas of high risk I would be delighted, but they are not. They are hidden in areas where there can be no other reason for their existence except as a revenue generator. As a result the speeding laws have already fallen into total disrepute.
Kate Corwyn, England


Dual carriageway and motorway speed limits should be increased

Chris, England
Modern cars are faster and safer with better brakes than the cars that were around when certain speed limits were introduced. Dual carriageway and motorway speed limits should be increased, and the law relaxed on these roads. Speed cameras in accident black spots are fine, but when there is a 40mph zone with a camera in the middle of a nowhere on a wide open road then surely this is just revenue building? Why don't the police think about re-jigging the whole system rather than just introducing more cameras?
Chris, Warrington, England

It has been proved time and again that speed does not kill, it is going too fast for your own ability to drive. Everyone thinks that they are the world's best driver. The police should deal with "dangerous" drivers not "fast" drivers. A cyclist doing 15mph can easily cause a crash by not being careful. Speed cameras should only be put in black spots, outside schools etc and be painted in bright colours so everyone can see them from a long way off and not have to slam their brakes on as they approach them. The anti-driver lobby should think what would happen if the police decided that crossing the road anywhere except in designated areas became illegal. How many of them would stick to the law and always use crossings? Please less hypocrisy, scare-mongering etc and a little more thought.
Vishal Vashisht, UK


I tend to watch the speedometer more than the road

Jason Townsend, UK
My main concern with speed cameras is that once I enter an area containing them I tend to watch the speedometer more than the road. In the event that a child was run in front of your car which would be the worst scenario for the child, to hit them at 30 mph because you were watching the speedometer not the road, or to hit them at after breaking from say 33 mph because you were watch the road rather than the speedometer? We need to control speed better especially in built up areas but I don't believe speed cameras are the safest answer.
Jason Townsend, UK

If you do not speed then what is to worry about? Anything that can cut down on bad or dangerous driving is welcome in my book. I hate those jerks that tailgate you on a 30 MPH stretch of road. Also gadgets to warn drivers about speed traps should be illegal to sell and possess. If you have a device to warn you of a speed trap, that can only mean you intend to speed before and after the speed trap. I would welcome more patrol cars or more cameras.
Joe Hall, UK

I am so sick of the " I'm alright Jack " attitude of drivers in this country. The immature desire of so many drivers to speed is staggeringly pathetic. Speeding costs innocent lives. It is as simple as that. What is more important, a human life or a childish need to pretend your are a racing driver? Drivers who feel the need to break the speed limit should get a grip, grow up and show some consideration for other people. It is breaking the law, if you do it, accept the consequences. In other words, grow up and take responsibility for your actions. More speed cameras please. With a view to removing all these idiots from our roads, making them a safer place.
Stuart, Scotland

I look forward to when everything is cameras and there are no traffic police. Then I can cover my number plates with mud, the cameras will not recognise me, and there will be no police to tell me to clean my plates. More seriously, evidence shows that conspicuous cameras reduce speeding more that hidden ones, and that is the purpose of these cameras. Hidden cameras are used to make money, not slow drivers down.

What happens when we all start driving at the correct speed limit? The revenue from the cameras drops to zero, and the taxpayer ends up paying for a load of cameras that never get used. More police in cars is the only way to go - stop all sorts of dangerous driving, not just speeding which in many cases is not dangerous.
James Hughes, UK

I am a professional truck and bus driver, and my view is that rigid speed limits are dumb. I have always driven and will continue to drive according to the conditions on the road and the amount of other traffic present. I have financed my degree in computing science by doing the driving job during the last 4 years, and I have noticed that as soon as the police were allowed to keep some of the money collected in fines for themselves, not only one can see them driving around our housing estates in Mercedes and BMW cars, but also they started to actively clobber people with fines whenever their coffers became exhausted by extravagant purchases. Do they really need fancy cars to do their job ?

As for the point made by the chief constable on the Radio 2 on Thursday about the figures showing that speed cameras save lives, I am aware that statistics is what one wants to use it for, and it would not be the first time that people in power con the public into accepting some proposal while using suitably adjusted statistics to make their point. As for me, I remain very sceptical.
Roman Olejniszyn, Scotland

Using speed cameras is all well and good so long as it is part of a wider strategy. To this day I have never seen a camera outside a school, hospital or old peoples home but I have seen them hidden behind obstacles on steep hills and dual carriageways! Much like the speed bumps that have become a landmark in many of our towns all they do is cause danger as those who travel the roads regularly slow down and then accelerate away afterwards and those who don't know about them slam on their brakes!

Local authorities are spending so much money and time on these cameras that they are forgetting the real problems of people not wearing seatbelts (back and front), passing on the inside on motorways and general disregard for the rules of the road.
Alex Bailey, UK

Has anybody tried driving around at exactly on the speed limit. The bullying tactics of other road users is incredible. Tail-gaiting, dangerous overtaking, you feel really, really pressurised into going faster and this is in areas where speed cameras are prevalent.
Ian, UK

The comments from some people that they are better qualified than the authorities to determine the safe speed at which to negotiate a particular section of highway is simple minded arrogance! What these people fail to appreciate is that the speed limit has to take into account driver reaction times (some of these people would be shocked at how slow their reactions are!), winter driving conditions and other road users such as cyclists.

Also, if speed limits on motorways are increased, I believe that once people have shortened their commuting time they will be loathe to increase it to allow for poor winter driving conditions. I say bring on the hidden cameras - if people choose to break the law they should be adult enough to "pay up and shut up!"
Russ F, USA (ex UK)

I was fined for speeding along a dual carriagwway travelling at 61mph instead of 60mph. Yes I did technically break the law but do I present such a dangerous threat compared to an uninsured and banned driver responsible for road deaths? Putting up more cameras is going to prove counter productive. Public opinion is divided as to the effectiveness of cameras. More people are likely to be killed in urban areas where hardly any cameras are placed. Yet along motorways and dual carriageways, cameras are springing up everywhere. To me, it sounds like an excuse for the government and police to print more money without catching any real dangerous drivers who are responsible for a majority of inner town/city road deaths.
Bob, UK

Cycling along a busy A-road to work, I fully agree with the need for clearly marked, visible cameras to control people's speed. The myth of responsible driving has been totally exploded for me because sadly there's a significant minority of drivers who speed regardless of road conditions or the presence of people (or cyclists!) on the road. In the real world, it's just not feasible for the Police to monitor roads in any other way due to lack of manpower and resources
Simon Coulthard, Cirencester, UK

Those people who think we need more speed cameras to reduce accidents are, by and large, ignorant on what the causes of road traffic accidents are. Speed by itself isn't a danger. What is a danger is people driving dangerously. Not leaving an appropriate gap between themselves and the vehicle in front, not allowing enough time to slow down when approaching traffic lights or junctions, overtaking without thinking about oncoming traffic. These are just a few of the things that need to be addressed, i.e., driving skills. The other important thing is vehicle safety. Cars need to be made more safe. ABS brakes, for example, should be MANDATORY on all new vehicles. My point being there are far worse and more dangerous things about road traffic that people should be looking at, rather than just focusing on speeding.
Phil, UK

Yes, more cameras please - after all speeding is breaking the law. But more speed limit reminder signs too, so the 'I didn't see the sign' excuse is no longer usable.
Alison, UK


If you build cars that are designed to go fast, people will speed

Mark R, UK
Look, if you give someone a gun they will shoot it, if you build cars that are designed to go fast, people will speed no matter how many cameras or speed bumps there are, unless you cover every stretch of road in the world. Build cars that can only travel at the speed limit of the area they are in, take the temptation away, no speeding then, ever! Plus far less loss of life, but no, no one would ever agree to a 'radical' solution like that!
Mark R, UK

Speed limits are set arbitrarily by the authorities, not by any scientific method, and as such should only act as guide. Cameras do not and cannot in any accurate way, determine other road conditions which may or may not make it perfectly safe to exceed the speed limit. Cameras should therefore be removed altogether and a traffic only police force set up to control all aspects of driving.
Geoff, England

Speed cameras are evil devices that promote inattentive and robotic driving. Drivers should be encouraged to use their own judgement to decide what speed is safe on a given road for given conditions, not the number on a sign post.
Alex Roebuck, England


I agree with highly visible cameras in accident black spots

Tony England
I agree with highly visible cameras in accident black spots to reduce accidents and in fact these should be placed on all traffic lights in order to catch those who indulge in the extremely dangerous practice of jumping red lights. However, simply relying on cameras to monitor speeding drivers rather than improving driving standards (which the old-fashioned traffic policeman did when he stopped a driver) is now missing, as the police forces reduce the number of traffic police on the roads. Additionally, cameras take no account of time/conditions of the road, as at certain times of the day a speed limit may be artificially low (ie 30mph dual carriageway at 05:00 hours).
Tony, England

The argument that hiding speed cameras is entrapment is nonsense. If you are breaking the law, you can't complain if the law is enforced - you don't get bank robbers complaining because the bank had hidden cameras!
Andy Pryke, UK

If speed cameras were truly being used to target danger, they would be almost exclusively in areas where speeding is most dangerous - urban and village 20mph and 30mph zones. Were there to be a proliferation in these areas, I don't see much opposition coming from anyone, even the disproportionately powerful road lobby in this country. They will, however, almost certainly be used the same way they have so far - as revenue generators in 50mph and 60mph zones and motorways. Used like that they will remain deeply unpopular, and have little or no effect on road safety.
Adam, England


It's just another hidden tax on the poor motorist

Mike, UK
It's just another hidden tax on the poor motorist. Canada has now removed all of its speed cameras, as police have lost the respect of people who don't want to help them anymore. I agree that cameras are probably needed in built up areas where accidents are likely but I can't see what the point of those new ones on the M6 is except for raising money. It wouldn't be so bad if real crime was falling as a result of the new police revenue stream. Incidentally I have a Morpheous Geodesy which warns me where the camera is a mile before I get there so I can slow down more safely.
Mike, Harefield, UK

I believe the time has long gone when cameras were only used at accident black spots - they are now mainly used to raise revenue. Recently whilst improving a 2-mile stretch of the A12 near Brentwood in Essex I believe I counted 22 working cameras. At certain times of the day these cannot be justified.
Chris, UK

Hidden cameras are a good idea in built up areas as long as there are signs advertising the fact, this would mean drivers would know they are there and adhere to the speed limit throughout the stretch of the road instead of learning where the cameras are and speeding in between.
Will, UK


Cameras shouldn't be obvious because people shouldn't be speeding anyway

Tracy, England
It makes me mad when people complain about speed cameras - if you DON'T SPEED, you won't get caught. It's people who break the speed limit who endanger others' lives. I think there SHOULD be more speed cameras and they shouldn't be obvious because people shouldn't be speeding anyway.
Tracy, England

A government-sponsored review found that excess speed contributed to only 5.5% of road accidents. This suggests that the majority of accidents are caused by people who simply cannot drive safely. Also, here in Plymouth there are about 40 cameras. Only 3 have been painted in the new high visibility colours. The rest are lurking behind bushes, half way down steep hills etc. None are outside schools or playgrounds etc. Why?
Dominic, Plymouth, UK


Bring on the cameras, at least I know I'll not be funding them!

Reformed Speed Freak, UK
I used to always exceed speed limits. I was involved in an accident and attended a Driver Improvement Course. After this I have always driven within the speed limits. It takes me no longer to get to work and even long motorway journeys only take a few minutes more when not exceeding 70mph. This is because most of the end to end journey time is spent waiting at junctions or sat in jams. I never have to worry about speed cameras, I use less fuel and I arrive at my destination relaxed and ready for business. Bring on the cameras, at least I know I'll not be funding them!
Reformed Speed Freak, UK

Hiding cameras will not stop drivers from speeding but speaking for myself, if I know there's a camera or I see one on a non-motoway road, I make sure I don't break the speed limit. However, I think cameras on motorways are dangerous as they cause everyone to slow down at the same time. A 70 mph limit on the motorway is unrealistic, it should be raised to 90 mph - it's the only way to get past middle-laners who, along with tailgaters, SHOULD be fined as they are far more dangerous than fast drivers.
Jacky, UK

I think speed cameras in built up areas are a good idea as long as they are clear. The police claim that speed cameras are a deterrent. Surely if they are a deterrent they should be painted bright yellow to make it obvious to drivers that they should be slowing down. Therefore a real rise in road safety would mean a reduced number of people caught on camera, not an increase. It seems these days speed cameras are placed to make a good profit rather than to save lives especially now the local police forces get to keep a percentage of the fine money. It's time for the Government to tell the truth. Are you trying to save lives or make money. If the answer is save lives every speed camera should be easy to spot and therefore slowing drivers down.
Martin Clapham, UK


Most accidents occur due to driver error and speed is only one contributing factor

Nick, UK
What concerns me is that the current Government is missing the point regarding road safety by putting too much emphasis on speed. If the money spent on speed cameras was spent on driver education then our roads would be a safer place. Most accidents occur due to driver error and speed is only one contributing factor.
Nick, UK

More speed cameras? Well yes I suppose not a bad idea, at the end of the day they only help to enforce the law. Perhaps a better question should be are the speed limits set at the correct level for current vehicles, considering that they were set so long ago based only on fuel usage? Perhaps lower in urban areas, but higher where it is safe? Now a lifetime ban on anyone found driving a vehicle without insurance or MOT, that I could support without question!
Des Whittall, UK

Speeding does get a lot of press, but in the real world, I see more bad drivers who keep to the speed limit, than bad drivers above the speed limit. The reason that you never see any statistics to show that they are a major cause of accidents is simply that it would be difficult to quantify. Somebody who is too scared to drive faster than 20mph is more dangerous than somebody who breaks the speed limit on an empty road at four in the morning.
Liam, UK

Speed cameras miss the point. Speed is not in itself the greatest cause of road accidents, it is without doubt careless, inattentive and irresponsible drivers that cause the majority of accidents. I have seen a great many dangerous drivers at 30mph who assume that because they are not speeding they can 'switch off'. Cameras will not stop this, they will just serve make the average motorist feel like they being constantly watched and regulated by big brother. I agree with the sentiment that speed restrictions in this country need urgent reviewing with a view to increasing motorway and dual carriageway limits.
Michael, England


On motorways or dual carriageways there should be a system as in Germany where if conditions are good you can drive as fast as you like

Kevin, UK
I agree that camera's should be used in built up area's and near schools. But on motorways or dual carriageways there should be a system as in Germany where if conditions are good you can drive as fast as you like, but if conditions are poor i.e. rain and fog and poor visibility. Penalties for driving dangerously in these conditions are harsh.
Kevin, UK

The only way that roads would become safer is if speed cameras were placed on every 20 yards of road. Everyone knows that people speed up once they get away from cameras and drop their speed on approach. But if cameras were just about everywhere, then that would give the speeders less chance to speed. But it still doesn't stop joyriding and offences similar to that.
Mark O'Brien, UK

More speed cameras would mean more drivers focussing their attention looking for "hidden" cameras, rather than concentrating on the road.
Richard, England

Why does everybody go on about speed as if it is the only cause of crashes? Instead of more speed cameras I think we should introduce new cameras to combat tailgating which is another contributor to accidents particularly on the motorway.
Robert Houghton, UK


Badly-placed speed cameras cause accidents

David, England
There's no question that well-placed, highly visible speed cameras add significantly to road safety. However, it is also quite clear that badly-placed speed cameras cause accidents. Finally, above all this, bad or intoxicated drivers are much more of a risk, so if speed cameras allow more policing of bad/intoxicated drivers - it would get my vote.
David, England

Our local council have managed to reduce everyone's speed to approx. 10mph without the aid of speed cameras. They have re-surfaced most of the streets leaving everywhere covered in loose-chippings, everyone is going slowly with no overtaking or tailgating.
Hannah, UK

I only believe cameras should be used for safety, that is next to schools and built up areas. By placing cameras on motorways and concealing them this only makes matters worse. How can concealing a camera make a road safer?
Garry, UK

Yes, more cameras please - after all speeding is breaking the law. But more speed limit reminder signs too, so the 'I didn't see the sign' excuse is no longer usable.
Alison, UK


If you build cars that are designed to go fast, people will speed

Mark R, UK
Look, if you give someone a gun they will shoot it, if you build cars that are designed to go fast, people will speed no matter how many cameras or speed bumps there are, unless you cover every stretch of road in the world. Build cars that can only travel at the speed limit of the area they are in, take the temptation away, no speeding then, ever! Plus far less loss of life, but no, no one would ever agree to a 'radical' solution like that!
Mark R, UK

Speed limits are set arbitrarily by the authorities, not by any scientific method, and as such should only act as guide. Cameras do not and cannot in any accurate way, determine other road conditions which may or may not make it perfectly safe to exceed the speed limit. Cameras should therefore be removed altogether and a traffic only police force set up to control all aspects of driving.
Geoff, England


Speed cameras are evil devices that promote inattentive and robotic driving

Alex Roebuck, England
Speed cameras are evil devices that promote inattentive and robotic driving. Drivers should be encouraged to use their own judgement to decide what speed is safe on a given road for given conditions, not the number on a sign post.
Alex Roebuck, England

I find it extraordinary that anyone should need to ask whether speed cameras are a good thing. They save lives, prevent serious injuries, and thanks to the income from fines, they cost law-abiding drivers nothing. Anything other than speed cameras with these benefits would be instantly welcomed by everyone as a good thing. Why do so many people believe that they have a God-given right to drive irresponsibly?
Dr Adam Jacobs, UK

The argument that hiding speed cameras is entrapment is nonsense. If you are breaking the law, you can't complain if the law is enforced - you don't get bank robbers complaining because the bank had hidden cameras!
Andy Pryke, UK

If speed cameras were truly being used to target danger, they would be almost exclusively in areas where speeding is most dangerous - urban and village 20mph and 30mph zones. Were there to be a proliferation in these areas, I don't see much opposition coming from anyone, even the disproportionately powerful road lobby in this country. They will, however, almost certainly be used the same way they have so far - as revenue generators in 50mph and 60mph zones and motorways. Used like that they will remain deeply unpopular, and have little or no effect on road safety.
Adam, England


It's just another hidden tax on the poor motorist

Mike, Harefield, UK
It's just another hidden tax on the poor motorist. Canada has now removed all of its speed cameras, as police have lost the respect of people who don't want to help them anymore. I agree that cameras are probably needed in built up areas where accidents are likely but I can't see what the point of those new ones on the M6 is except for raising money. It wouldn't be so bad if real crime was falling as a result of the new police revenue stream. Incidentally I have a Morpheous Geodesy which warns me where the camera is a mile before I get there so I can slow down more safely.
Mike, Harefield, UK

I believe the time has long gone when cameras were only used at accident black spots - they are now mainly used to raise revenue. Recently whilst improving a 2-mile stretch of the A12 near Brentwood in Essex I believe I counted 22 working cameras. At certain times of the day these cannot be justified.
Chris, UK

Hidden cameras are a good idea in built up areas as long as there are signs advertising the fact, this would mean drivers would know they are there and adhere to the speed limit throughout the stretch of the road instead of learning where the cameras are and speeding in between.
Will, UK


If you don't speed, you won't get caught

Tracy, England
It makes me mad when people complain about speed cameras - if you don't speed, you won't get caught. It's people who break the speed limit who endanger others' lives. I think there should be more speed cameras and they shouldn't be obvious because people shouldn't be speeding anyway.
Tracy, England

A government-sponsored review found that excess speed contributed to only 5.5% of road accidents. This suggests that the majority of accidents are caused by people who simply cannot drive safely. Also, here in Plymouth there are about 40 cameras. Only 3 have been painted in the new high visibility colours. The rest are lurking behind bushes, half way down steep hills etc. None are outside schools or playgrounds etc. Why?
Dominic, Plymouth, UK


Careful drivers will welcome the reminder to slow down

Debbie, UK
I say give us more cameras! Don't hide them, but make it clear that they are there. I live on a fairly busy road in Surrey, just at the end of an 'S' bend. Over the last 2 years there have been 16 cars and motorbikes crashing into my garden, simply because the drivers ignored the 30mph speed limit and came off the road at the final bend. One of these crashes was fatal. In the six months the police installed a speed camera on this bend, there have been no crashes. Drivers see the camera and slow down, worried about their poor driving attracting a large fine and points on their licence. During this six months, the camera has had no film in it - it's not even connected! Speed limits are there for a reason - often to protect the lives of the drivers as much as the pedestrians. Careful drivers will welcome the reminder to slow down - you'll find only the stupid, selfish drivers will complain.
Debbie, UK

Well anything is better than more speed humps which have no effect on large vehicles and SUVs but, even at low speeds, bend the suspension on small modern cars. I am sure the number of people killed by this vastly exceeds the number saved by reduced speeds.
Mark K, London, UK


The UK has had an excellent road safety record

Paul Smith, Ross-shire
The UK has had an excellent road safety record, with constant improvements for over 30 years despite great increases in traffic. However since "Speed Kills" and camera enforcement took over from good driving and common sense road safety, we've see the accident figures stagnate. We need intelligent road safety, good driving, and no more dumb cameras clicking like cash-registers.
Paul Smith, Ross-shire

The recent proliferation of speed-cameras in some areas (A420 in Wiltshire/Oxfordshire for example) coupled with reductions in speed-limits, appears to have been done solely to raise revenue. Concealed cameras result in drivers' attention being concentrated on looking for the cameras rather than watching out for real road-hazards.
Pete Morgan-Lucas, Wiltshire, UK

I definitely think reform of the speed limits on motorways is needed, but if speed cameras reduce the number of people exceeding the 3O mph limit in built-up areas, which happens all too often, they can't be a bad thing.
MH, England

S

Speed cameras cause heavy breaking as they slow down not to be caught

Carl Dennis, England
Speed cameras cause heavy breaking as they slow down not to be caught as soon as the pass the camera then they speed up again. Being safe is the aim but why not be like Germany look at their statistics for car accidents it still is not as high as ours.
Carl Dennis, England

The government and police would probably keep more drivers on side if they totally overhauled the speed limit system. Bring speed limits in town down and clamp down hard on those who break the limit, but relax the limits on motorways and trunk roads except in accident blackspots or whatever. The cameras which annoy drivers are those which have no apparent purpose other than revenue generation.
Stuart, UK

In the U.S. speed cameras have been a great incentive against speeding and running red lights, a major cause of traffic accidents. Our simple "Speed Cameras Ahead" signs are way cheaper than spending money on researching "sniper positions."
T.J. Cassidy, USA

Some speed cameras make driving more dangerous. Especially on out of town roads where the traffic can quite safely travel along at faster than the speed limit, but everyone then has to jump on the brakes when they see a camera. How many rear end accidents happen at or near speed cameras because of this?
Stuart, UK

In my experience, drivers slam on their brakes as soon as they see a camera and then accelerate once past the markings on the road. Not the safest drivers to be behind (or an endorsement that more cameras will reduce accidents).
Jeff, UK


It's a classic case of highway robbery

Joe, UK
The ever-increasing deployment of speed cameras on UK roads is such an invidious policy. Personally, I don't believe that they're being installed for road safety reasons, but rather as another way of funding local police forces. It's a classic case of highway robbery.
Joe, UK

What the BRAKE survey actually showed is a majority of drivers support "well-placed and highly visible" speed cameras. That is ones situated in recognised accident blackspots, generally in urban areas, and made extremely obvious, not ones lurking behind signs and bushes on rural trunk roads where there is no history of speed-related accidents. That suggests that there should be a complete turnaround from the speed camera policy currently being pursued. There are only around 5 cameras in the whole of the city of Manchester, yet there are about 30 on the 15-mile stretch of the A34 between Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford. Those can't be the right priorities.
Peter, Stockport, UK

In built up areas such as outside schools and hospitals, on roads in town centres and residential areas where children play - YES!! On motorways and dual carriageways with their barriers, single direction traffic and safe entry and exit slip roads - NO!
Simon, UK

If you drive down the A1 from Edinburgh to the south it is a complete joke. The cameras only serve to encourage more dangerous forms of driving, speeding in particular, as all that happens is that people who " know the road " slow down and speed up accordingly making it a much more distressing experience for anyone trying to keep to the limit. There is also a neatly hidden "small" camera, covered by a bridge when you enter from England - discrimination if you ask me.
Ian H, UK


Forget speed cameras

Gerry, Scotland
Forget speed cameras. Could we instead have cameras set up specifically to record abusive, ill-mannered and downright dangerous driving and have the culprits charged accordingly? If we could stop the 'smart ass' driving and bring back some manners we could cut road rage considerably.
Gerry, Scotland

If reducing the speed of vehicles at an accident black spot will reduce the number and severity of accidents then speed cameras are a useful road-safety device but if they are catching large numbers of motorists over the speed limit then they aren't doing a particularly good job at reducing speed. Making the cameras more visible would seem to be a good way of actually making them effective. As an aside, a recent series of trials in Scotland managed to make dramatic cuts in road accidents by introducing "advisory" (i.e. not enforced) 20 mph limits in residential urban areas. It may well be that there are more effective and less costly solutions than speed cameras.
Rod Maxwell, Scotland

This is a sensible suggestion. Deterrence is the best strategy. Now let's think about the speed humps that are ruining my car's suspension.
Chris Klein, England


More cameras may help, although how much is unknown

Paul, Isle of Man
At the moment, drivers learn exactly where the cameras are and slow down when they approach them - hidden cameras may mean more people are caught. More cameras may help, although how much is unknown. What IS required, are greater penalties for speeding, e.g. caught once, banned for life. Since driving is a privilege and not a right, I don't believe this can be argued against.
Paul, Isle of Man

As speeding is breaking the law, cameras, concealed or otherwise, are fair. Ken Williams does not want to alienate motorists; perhaps he doesn't want to alienate burglars by catching them, or robbers, muggers, rapists, murders, etc.
Neil, UK

I do believe that speed cameras do make drivers go slower and will reduce risks of serious accidents or worse. However, I do not believe in speed cameras for the sake of it in order to generate revenue. I would fully support the open use of cameras in built up areas where the car is a threat to pedestrians. However, I mostly see them on faster open roads where most drivers can use their common sense. Placing the cameras here is just a very cynical way of getting even more money from motorists who based their speed on sound judgement.
Dave, Manchester, UK

See also:

02 Aug 01 | UK
Push for more speed cameras
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