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Speed Cameras Cause Erratic Driver Behaviour

Press release: 06/08/2010

New research from car insurer LV= reveals that many motorists admit to behaving erratically in front of speed cameras with thousands confessing to slamming on the brakes or looking at their speedometer as soon as a camera comes into view.

This erratic behaviour could be leading to the number of accidents which occur around speed cameras with the research showing that at least 28,000 [1] road accidents have been triggered by speed cameras since 2001, as motorists slow down ahead of them and then speed up once they are clear.

Among all motorists, eight in ten (81%) said they instantly look at their speedometers instead of the road when a camera comes into view and one in twenty (5%) admitted to braking suddenly, risking losing control of their vehicle or causing a rear-end shunt from the vehicle behind.

Rear-end shunts are the third [2] most common type of car crash and blame is nearly always attributed to the driver who hits the rear of the car behind. Nearly one in three motorists (31%) said they had witnessed an accident or near miss as a result of other drivers’ erratic behaviour when faced with a speed camera.

Despite over 6,000 speed cameras across the UK [3] , more than nine in ten drivers (91%) admit to going over the speed limit, with one in seven (15%) speeding on a regular basis. Motorways see the highest proportion of speeding drivers, with close to three quarters (69%) of motorists travelling at an average speed of 81 miles per hour. Less than one in ten (9%) motorists said they never speed.

Many drivers are sceptical as to the impact of speed cameras on motorist behaviour. Close to half of motorists (46%) believe they divert attention away from other areas of their driving, while one in ten (11%) claim that speed cameras increase their risk of an accident.

Motorists are also cynical about the reasons for speed camera implementation, with close to half of drivers (46%) believing them to exist only as a revenue raiser for the Government.

John O’Roarke, managing director of LV= car insurance, said: “Speed cameras have been a feature on UK roads for almost 20 years, yet the feedback from drivers is that while they may reduce speed they also appear to impair driving ability or at the least concentration on the road. As this report shows some drivers behave erratically and at worst dangerously around speed cameras.

“When driving it’s important to maintain a constant speed within the legal limits on the road. Excessive speed contributes to 12% of all injury collisions, and we’d encourage drivers to stick to all speed limits and not wait for a camera to reduce their speed suddenly.”


Notes

ICM Research conducted an online survey with 1,532 drivers regarding their experiences with speed cameras. Fieldwork was conducted online between 9 – 10 June 2010. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at www.icmresearch.co.uk

[1] According to the ICM research, drivers report that in 1% of accidents speed cameras were a contributory factor. The Dft latest accident estimates reports that there have been 2.7 million vehicle accidents (not including cyclists) since speed cameras were rolled out nationally in 2001. Therefore of these it is likely that around 1% or 27,900 accidents have been caused by speed cameras.
[2] LV= internal data
[3] http://www.parliament.uk/documents/post/postpn218.pdf


LV=

LV= is a registered trade mark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) and a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies.

LV= employs over 4,000 people, serves over 3.8m customers and members, and manages around £9.5bn on their behalf.

Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited, registered in England and Wales number 3232514, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, register number 202965. Registered address is: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF. Tel: 01202 292333