They are a fact of life for new as well as experienced drivers alike. Speed cameras can hit you from almost anywhere, there will usually be the most subtlest of signs letting you know that you are driving through an area where there are speed cameras. But can these natural speed reducers actually help cut down on those risky road traffic accidents? The jury is still out on the speed snappers even though they have been on our roads for decades!
Part of the reason the government and traffic officials are giving speed cameras second thoughts is the notion that they could actually be causing bad driving. This new insight into how we are driving comes from an analysis of more than 8,800 UK car journeys.
The study into these journeys was carried out by a company called Wunelli, they help car insurers offer telematics-based insurance policies. For example when drivers are asked to keep a recording box in the car that takes note of how it’s being driven. These can also show the number of ‘hard braking events’ that happen when near speed camera locations. When the evidence has been put together, it’s been found that cars break hard on average around six times higher than on camera-less stretches of road.
So what exactly is a ‘Hard Breaking Event’? For the record, it is defined in this analysis as a cut in speed of 6.5mph or more over a one-second period. This is usually strong enough to send bags as well as un-seatbelted people flying into the footwell of the car. This could not only harm those travelling in the car, but it’s a strong enough impact to actually damage softer parts of the car’s interior.
The company analysed 80% of speed camera locations across the United Kingdom. The results show up a definite rise in the number of hard braking events as cars approach the speed cameras. So naturally, the ideals surrounding the speed cameras are now being questioned. Just how effective are they in reality? Could the roads of the UK be safer without cameras dotted across town? With these results opinion is now really divided!
Ash Hassib, one of the experts from LexisNexis Risk Solutions said of the findings: “We have so far collected over a billion miles of driving behavior data. The results and their subsequent analysis has provided us with some very important insights into driving behavior. We are currently building upon the insights that have arisen from this, aiming to show just how dangerous the effects of certain speed deterrents can be on driving behavior when speeding drivers start to take drastic measures. These include braking harshly in a bid to avoid penalties. So far the results support the theory of accidents being ‘wake up calls’ to drivers.”
Although no new measures are currently being put into place, watch his space for more news on safer driver when it comes to speed cameras. Why not have your say on Want Driving Lessons Facebook and Twitter?