Support for speed cameras remains high, but minority unconvinced

Motorists are still strongly in favour of the use of speed cameras and in fact that support has strengthened since the cameras were introduced, according to an AA Motor Insurance poll. However a minority remain unconvinced and there is still some public cynicism about it being a ‘money making exercise’. The survey asked drivers a series of questions about speed cameras and tracked those answers against the responses given in a previous poll last September before the system went live.

Motorists are still strongly in favour of the use of speed cameras and in fact that support has strengthened since the cameras were introduced, according to an AA Motor Insurance poll. However a minority remain unconvinced and there is still some public cynicism about it being a ‘money making exercise’. The survey asked drivers a series of questions about speed cameras and tracked those answers against the responses given in a previous poll last September before the system went live.

8 out of 10 motorists believe that the ‘Go Safe’ mobile speed vans, part of the 2007 to 2012 Road Safety Strategy, are a legitimate and effective means of stamping out speeding at accident black spots according to the tracker survey data published today by AA Motor Insurance.

“Irish drivers deserve great credit for how they have responded to the road safety initiatives of recent years.” Says Conor Faughnan, Director of Policy, AA Ireland. “Improved driver behaviour is the one key reason why our road deaths and injuries have been trending down. Clearly we haven’t won this fight yet, and it will never be acceptable to have 200 Irish people dying on the roads each year, but real progress has been made.”

According to the findings of the latest AA Motor Insurance Poll, 78.7% of drivers are either fully or somewhat in favour of the ‘Go Safe’ speed surveillance system, a support rating which has remained virtually unchanged since last September before the launch of the ‘Go Safe’ fleet.

Encouragingly the results of the AA Motor Insurance Poll also reveals that the number of drivers who are strongly in support of the speed cameras model has increased by 10% to 49.7% since last September.

Opposition to ‘Go Safe Vans’

On the other end of the scale the number who ‘completely disagree’ with the cameras has also increased. 6% of the 13,000 motorists recently surveyed by the AA would describe themselves as anti speed cameras, up 3.6% on last September.

“There is a minority out there who just don’t believe that speed cameras are being used for safety reasons.” Says Faughnan. “The ongoing challenge for the Garda and the RSA is to keep demonstrating their good faith. Motorists accepted cameras on the basis that they would be concentrated on black spots. We have to keep making the effort to convince the minority of doubters that this is what is happening.”

The AA Motor Insurance poll also reveals a degree of skepticism among some drivers about how and where speed camera vans are being used.

27.1% of those polled believe the Gardaí and Go Safe Consortium have waivered to some degree from their original remit as far as the use of mobile speed cameras are concerned. Almost half of those surveyed also indicated that they have concerns about some of the locations serviced by the speed camera vans.

Speed cameras and revenue

While ‘Go Safe’ operators are paid on the basis of enforcement and survey hours, not the number of speeding detections, many motorists are still not convinced that it’s a not for profit exercise. To the tune of 55% of motorists surveyed by AA Motor Insurance expressed a belief that the introduction of additional speed cameras is primarily about revenue.

“The roll out of the new speed camera system has generated enormous feedback from motorists, a steady stream of which we’ve seen through our blog, aaireland.ie/blog and publicaffaire@aaireland.ie inbox.” Says Faughnan. “Motorists are our eyes and ears on the road, so if you’ve any feedback, positive or negative about speed cameras we’re keen to hear from you.”