Are speed cameras effective?

Each year over 700 people are killed in crashes involving someone exceeding the speed limit or travelling within the limit but too fast for the conditions.

Drivers and riders who are travelling at inappropriate speeds are more likely to crash and their higher speed means that the crash will cause more severe injuries, to themselves or to other road users. Inappropriate speed also magnifies other driver errors, such as driving too close or driving when fatigued or distracted, multiplying the chances of these types of driving causing an accident.

Cameras are a very effective way of persuading drivers not to speed, and thereby reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured. They significantly reduce speeding and collisions, and cut deaths and serious injuries at camera sites by 42%.

Research shows that:

Cameras Cut Speeds

  • The number of vehicles exceeding the speed limit at fixed camera sites fell by 70%, and at mobile camera sites by 18%.
  • Excessive speeding (15 mph or more above the limit) fell by 91% at fixed sites and by 36% at mobile sites.
  • Average vehicle speed across all new sites fell by 6% overall.

Cameras Save Lives

  • The number of people killed or seriously injured fell by 42% at camera sites. This means there were 1,745 fewer people being killed or seriously injured at the camera sites per year – including 100 fewer deaths per year.
  • The number of people killed and seriously injured fell by 50% at fixed sites and by 35% at mobile sites.
  • There was a 32% reduction in the number of children killed and seriously injured at camera sites.
  • The number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured fell by 29% at camera sites.

Cameras Prevent Crashes

  • There was a 22% reduction in collisions involving (fatal, serious or slight) personal injury at camera sites.

A review of speed cameras in 2010 concluded that if safety cameras were decommissioned about 800 extra people across Great Britain could be being killed or seriously injured each year.

Date Updated/Created: 14/10/2011


Share this page: