SEARCH
« Online Consignment Selling: How to Use Your Phone for Cash | Main | KeyRaider Malware Targets Jailbroken iPhones »
Tuesday
Sep012015

IIHS: Speed Camera Programs Lead to Changes in Driver Behavior

InterestingLight/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that highway speed cameras have "led to long-term changes in driver behavior and substantial reductions in deaths and injuries" in at least one community near Washington, D.C.

Speed cameras were introduced in 2007 in Montgomery County, Maryland, the study notes. As of 2014, the area had 56 fixed cameras, 30 portable cameras and six mobile speed vans. Six months after the installation of the first cameras, the proportion of drivers traveling more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit had dipped, according to the IIHS.

Further, the study found, after seven years, the program continues to work. IIHS says cameras have reduced the likelihood of a driver exceeding the speed limit by over 10 miles per hour by 59 percent compared to similar roads in nearby counties without speed cameras.

The camera program is also credited with a 19 percent reduction in the likelihood of crashes involving a fatality or incapacitating injury.

"We hope this research will help energize the discussion around speed," IIHS President Adrian Lund said in a statement. "We're all accustomed to seeing posted limits ignored, but it's a mistake to think nothing can be done about it."

The study also argues that speed corridors, in which enforcement is focused on long stretches of road rather than precise locations, are even more effective. "Speed-camera corridors force drivers to watch their speed for the length of the road, instead of slamming on the brakes at a specific location and then speeding up again," IIHS Senior Vice President for Research Anne McCartt said.

Interestingly, the study also found that cameras are only effective in altering drivers' behavior if the drivers are aware that they are there. More than three-quarters of drivers in Montgomery County reported reducing their speed due to the speed camera program.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.







ABC News Radio