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Speed camera placement

Comment 1st July 2010

The current law on speed camera placement states that a speed camera can only be placed at a point where the 85th percentile speed is above the prosecution threshold. Given that it has long been established that the 85th percentile speed is the speed at which the safest drivers drive, the current law means that speed cameras can only be placed in areas where the safest drivers believe that the speed limit has been set too low. Conversely, speed cameras cannot be placed in areas where the speed limit is just right or too low and it would therefore be dangerous to exceed the speed limit. I propose that the law should be changed so that speed cameras can only be placed at points where the 85th percentile stick to the speed limit.

Why does this matter?

My idea is important because speed cameras currently do nothing to improve road safety and are, in fact, likely to be the cause of many accidents due to drivers breaking sharply when they see a speed camera and because many drivers pay more attention to their speedometer as they pass a speed camera than they do to the road. Road safety measures have been too focussed on sticking to the speed limit than driving at a safe speed for the road conditions and adequately observing the surroundings.

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