Motoring experts say that speed cameras have not been a benefit in regards to keeping costs down by discouraging the kind of reckless driving that causes accidents and raises car insurance rates.
It’s been more than two decades since the proliferation of speed cameras on roadways in the UK as a plan to encourage more responsible driving habits. However, a recently released report has said that, even though speed cameras generate in excess of £87 million in revenue on an annual basis, accidents that drive up the cost of motor car insurance have not undergone a significant decline as a direct result.
Speed camera opponents say that their presence may actually be harmful. Users of the road may be lulled into a false sense of security by speed cameras, these opponents say, leading to them taking risks while behind the wheel and having a higher chance of being involved in a road traffic accident.
The report may prove that speed cameras are used as primarily to generate revenue by the Government and the police force instead of keeping the road safe, their original intended use. This has led experts to call for the entirety of the UK to bin the cameras altogether, much as Swindon has done.
The average yearly cost of installing and maintaining a speed camera is approximately £30,000, the report found. This means that it takes around 12 months for any given camera to recover these costs, with a £60 offence multiplied by 600 motorists.
The report also found that not all cameras are serviced regularly, with those in high-traffic areas more often maintained but less active cameras may develop faults that can result in some motorists escaping without being caught.