Small Scale Survey Warns of Speed Camera Danger
Safe Speed Press information

 release date: 14th April 2004 number: PR115

Small Scale Survey Warns of Speed Camera Danger

News: For immediate release

According to early results of an ongoing straw poll survey, drivers are likely to be spending up to 50% of their time looking at their speedometers in areas of danger warns Safe Speed.

There does not appear to be any scientific research to warn us about exactly how much attention drivers are paying to their speedometers instead of the road ahead in the area of a speed camera.

An simple experiment devised by Safe Speed indicates that checking the speedo takes about 1 second, with most of the time taken in refocusing on the speedometer and then back on the road ahead. 

Speed cameras in the UK are claimed to be positioned at accident black spots, but the Safe Speed survey suggests that three quarters of drivers would check their speedos 3 times or more over an eight second period in a typical danger zone. With speedo checks taking about a second, the average driver may actually be spending 40% of his total time in the danger zone looking at his speedometer. 10 percent of respondents have indicated that they would look at their speedos five or more times in just eight seconds.

Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign said: "We have long been worried about drivers concentrating on the speedo when they should be looking at the road ahead, but the results we are getting in our survey are a real shock."

Paul continues: "It is astonishing to think that the authorities have embarked on our large scale speed camera program without carrying out proper research and having absolutely definitive answers about how long it takes to read the speedo and about how many times drivers check their speedos in the vicinity of speed cameras."  

Paul continues: "Safe Speed certainly does not claim that these early results are definitive, but they may well be an indication of a large and dangerous road safety problem. What is needed right now is a proper scientific study."

Paul continues: "Safe Speed demands an immediate cessation of all speed camera operations until these clear and obvious dangers have been quantified and analysed. They may claim that speed cameras save lives, but with driver attention diverted from the road ahead and fatality figures rising despite massive improvements in vehicle safety, no one will believe them."


Notes for editors:

This Safe Speed web page provides details of the ongoing small scale survey:

You may also reproduce material from that page.

We would be delighted if you wished to invite your readers or listeners to contribute to the survey.

Early indications are as follows:

In an 8 second danger zone:

  • 10% would check their speedo 5 or more times
  • 17% would check their speedo 4 times
  • 46% would check their speedo 3 times
  • 17% would check their speedo twice
  • 7% would check their speedo once

About Safe Speed:

Since setting up Safe Speed in 2001, Paul Smith, 48, an advanced motorist and road safety enthusiast, and a professional engineer of 25 years UK experience, has carried out in excess  of 4,500 hours of research into the overall effects of speed camera policy on UK road safety. We believe that this is more work in more detail than anything carried out by any other organisation. Paul's surprising conclusion is that overall speed cameras make our roads more dangerous. Paul has identified and reported a number of major flaws and false assumptions
in the claims made for speed cameras, and the whole "speed kills"  system of road safety. 

The inescapable conclusion is that we should urgently return to the excellent road safety policies that gave us in the UK the safest roads in the World in the first place. 

Safe Speed does not campaign against speed limits or appropriate enforcement of motoring laws, but argues vigorously that automated speed enforcement is neither safe nor appropriate. 


Contact Safe Speed: 

email : 
telephone: 01862 832000 anytime. 
mobile: 07799 045553 
note: the mobile does not work well at our office. Always try land line first. 
Location: North Scotland 

We are available for press and media interviews.

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Created 14/04/2004. Last update 14/04/2004