Speed Cameras Distract Drivers
can it be claimed that cameras the government
erect to save lives can actually be a cause
of accidents? Let's think this through. What
is the first thing most motorists do when they
see a speed camera? Check their speed of course.
In doing so their eyes are taken off the
road for about a second. That's not a huge
amount of time, but long enough for a
child to step out into the road and a whole second
of crucial braking time will be lost. In 1 second
a car at 30mph would have travelled a further
13 meters (42 feet).
Tests have shown that motorists don't just look down at the speedometer
once. A survey
by Safe Speed revealed that
75% of drivers checked their speed at least 3
times over an 8 second period as they drive
past a camera. This means that 40% of a driver's
time is spent looking down at the speedometer
and not on the road. Assuming the camera has
been sited due to a history of accidents, it
has the opposite of the intended
effect if less time is spent observing
potential hazards and other cars. You are
likely to concentrate more on the road before
having seen the camera or camera warning
A visually impacting poster has been designed by Alexis West to help
make the public and authorities aware of the
typical behaviour pattern shown by drivers when
approaching a speed camera. View
a larger version of the poster.
Until cars have speed
indicators attached to the windscreen
at eye level drivers will continue to look down
to check their speed. A few careless
miles over and you'll be facing a £60 fine. So what's the solution?
Well it sure isn't more speed cameras!
Thanks to Alexis West of the Cardiff
School of Art and Design for designing the poster and
to the model Emily Young.