Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

N/A | National Speed cameras do reduce injuries and deaths

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by Justus, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. Consistent Evidence: Speed Cameras Do Reduce Injuries and Deaths, Australian Study Finds

    Placing speed cameras on roads reduces the number of road traffic injuries and deaths, concludes a team of researchers from The University of Queensland, in Brisbane, Australia. Their findings are published this month in The Cochrane Library. Preventing road traffic injuries is of global public health importance.

    The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020 road traffic crashes will have moved from ninth to third in the rank of causes of poor health. Speed cameras are one of the measures that authorities can use to reduce traffic speed in the hope of preventing road injuries. Their use has supporters and detractors, so the research team set out to investigate whether they are effective. They looked for studies that had assessed the impact of speed cameras on speeding, road crashes, crashes causing injury and fatalities.

    After searching available literature, they identified 35 relevant studies. " While there is variation in the results, the overall finding is clear -- speed cameras do reduce injuries and deaths," says lead researcher Cecilia Wilson.

    Compared with controls, the average speed fell as did the percentage of vehicles that exceeded local speed limits. The numbers of crashes in the areas of the cameras also fell, as did the numbers of people killed or injured.

    Speed is a critical issue. Driving faster than the posted limit, or too fast for the prevailing conditions, increases the risk of crashes, and also the chance of those crashes causing more serious injury.

    "Even though some of the studies were not conducted as carefully as others, the consistency in the way that vehicle speeds, crashes, road traffic injuries and deaths all reduced in places where speed cameras were operating shows that these cameras do a good job," says Wilson.

    She points out that none of these studies were carried out in low-income countries, where most road traffic crashes occur, and calls for further research in these settings.

    “One of the associated problems with automated speed enforcement is the tendency for some drivers to brake when passing a speed camera and then to speed in excess of the speed limit when out of range of the camera,” the report says. “A relatively new method which has the potential to ameliorate this, is road section control or average speed check.”

    Unlike traditional speed cameras, the report says the technology can measure a vehicle’s speed over a distance of at least 500 metres to several kilometres.

    “Such a measure can reasonably be expected to have a more sustained positive behavioural effect and perhaps change the culture of speeding over a longer time.”

    NSW currently operates Safe-T-Cam, which monitors trucks between two points to determine if they are speeding. The report says point-to-point technology is used in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, but more research is needed to determine its effectiveness. Despite the shortfalls with fixed speed cameras, lead researcher Cecilia Wilson from the University of Queensland says they are effective.

    “While there is variation in the results, the overall finding is clear – speed cameras do reduce injuries and deaths,” she says.

    The report comes as the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority begins work on significantly increasing the number of speed cameras.

    Dr Soames Job from the RTA’s Centre for Road Safety says mobile speed cameras will be operating for 12,200 hours a month by July next year to improve road safety. There are currently six mobile units being used, but Job says it is unclear how much this figure will rise by.

    “One company may supply us a very good quote by using fewer cameras and operating for 20 hours a day. Another may consider it more efficient to have twice as many cameras operating 12 hours a day,” he says.

    According to Job, mobile speed cameras in Victoria and Queensland reduced injuries and fatalities by more than 25 percent.

    Link: The Cochrane Collaboration 2010


  2. okay, who do you work for?
  3. Justus is a keen amateur researcher with a keen interest in law... and we're the better for his work on NR.
  4. Better you should ask who the researchers work for. But at a glance, there isn't much of a case for charges of self-interest.
    What we should look for in this report (given time to examine it properly) is evidence for the relative merits of visible versus 'covert' camera use.

    I've said before, the greater problem is not cameras, it's deliberately luring people into infringement with artificially low speed limits. Peter Ryan, the new Victorian Deputy Premier said today that the public has rightly lost faith in the enforcement regime and it needs to be fixed. (Win!)
  5. "None of these studies were carried out in low income countries"

    Was the improvements in modern safety features for cars in accidents taken into account, as well as the gradual retiring of the older and unsafer car fleet and replacement with modern safety feature cars taken in account? I mean, air-bags and the like have only been compulsory for around the last 10 years.

    Edit: Second note of point. In Victoria at least, Vicroads follows a practise of dramatically improving the road infrastructure of crash problematic locations, then lowering the speed limit, and then introducing a speed camera, and pointing at the presence of the speed camera as the reason for lower fatalities. I don't see that the study takes changing environment, as well as the changing car fleet, into account in their studies.
  6. Meta analyses such as these ones are fairly floored because of the scientific bias towads publishing positive results. Studies that had an insignificant relationships between speed cameras and injuries and fatalities are less likely to be published then ones that show a relationship and hence less likely to be found in a literature search. I don't believe that literature synthesis can be used to assess a question such as this one.

    Saying that however I do think speed cameras do play an important part in reducing fatalities, not by reducing driver speed but by reducing the number of inobservant drivers from the road, especially when the cameras are well signposted. The driver/rider who doesn't see the 3 or 4 signs before a camera, the marks on the road and the fairly large grey box is probably also the driver who doesn't see you coming the other way before turning right.
  7. Ok, so why aren't they used in known blackspots & high accident locations, rather than where they can have the most impact financially?
  8. I was reading a MUARC paper the other day that said that the entire fatality reduction in Victoria can be attributed to Seat Belts, RBT and road speed enforcement campaign. It stated that safer cars had not provided any benefits, or that it's impact was not clearly discernable in the trends and argued that this is most likely due to driver distraction.

    ...I imagine your reaction is something akin to mine at the time: a self serving piece of paid for crap.

    Interestingly, the powers that be expected better results from the speed camera and speed enforcement campaigns of the last decade and are surprised that they didn't make the road toll gains they hoped for (this is evident in the current draft national road strategy). I'm not surprised at all. Australian's just don't by the propaganda that low margin speeding is the killer the authorities are making it out to be - so the draft strategy suggests more and stricter penalties, more enforcement (police, equipment and cameras), lower speed limits and education campaigns to support it all.
  9. Channel 9 would like to advise viewers that the following is a paid for presentation...
  10. During 2010 speed cameras and red light cameras failed in Victoria. So much for their research.
  11. Dont suppose they mentioned how cameras saved lives, and how that can be reproduced without skimming money from people who show no evidence of posing risk to others?

    Oh for a world without monetary greed.........
  12. as i read it the study only relates to fixed speed cameras.
    mobile ones and when people don't expect them probably cause more harm than good.
    fixed ones, in Vic at least, are notoriously innaccurate.
    everything in Vic is pretty much ****ed actually.
  13. I'm having trouble joining the dots, are you saying that, in future, they will be used in these locations?

    That, & signing them, would be a great idea, if you still get done by a speed camera, well, no sympathy.
  14. So let's get this straight....
    This study was a study of other studies? How does that achieve anything new?
    I bet they did not review the US study of Shinar (1999) which cites extensive evidence that speed variance increases crash probability.
    Obviously this is not applicable to single vehicle accidents, of which we are disproportionately representative!
    So yet again raw numbers lacking context are trotted out and fed to the masses. Our road toll is another prime example. Whilst the raw number appears high, when put into context of per number of vehicles on the road we have close to the lowest road toll since the invention of cars.
    But of course reality does not raise money.
  15. It provides an academic with one more paper they can use to justify their existence. Whether it has any practical use or not is irrelevant in the current system.

  16. Irrelevant? Not a chance. More relevant due to the massive number of cameras used and the massive revenue collected.

    Cameras were a dismal failure in Victoria and that is a fact.

    So much pain inflicted upon the community for a big fat ZERO result.
  17. i was just joking. i forgot the little smiley smirk thing: 8-[
  18. Ok Justus... apologise to Lowercase and we can all play nicely again.....8-[
  19. I caught the tale end of a show that was reporting on some research from the UK that seems to show quite the oposite of what is quoted here. The research from the UK that speed cameras by themselves didn't have a big effect on the road toll. The same research showed that the number of accidents actually increased, probably due to drivers quickly slowing for the camera.

    The problem I have with using speed cameras is assumption that speed (as in breaking the speed limit) actually kills.

  20. There are better more effective ways of saving lives on the road other than greed cams.

    Its just none of them bring in the big dollars like the cams do.

    Its all about the money.