Describe about the essay on Speed Cameras 'Do Not Cut Accidents'?
A speed camera is a device for capturing or recording fast-moving objects. The device captures photographic image onto a storage medium so that they can be played back in slow-motion. Speed camera works in conjunction with advanced technologies measuring average speed of fast-moving objects. The cameras are fixed at various locations using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) that records the number plate fixed on vehicles. The camera uses infrared photography that enables the speed camera to work during day and night. Fixed speed cameras are installed at various locations such as side of the road for capturing number of vehicle. The mobile speed cameras are movable in the form of laser or radar handheld device, random police checks in marked or unmarked cars. The legal usage of speed cameras vary according to the laws and regulations of every state. The legal uses of speed cameras range to be set up in variety of locations such as school zones, work zones, highway work zones, construction zones or Municipal Park. The penalties and fines also vary according to different state for a speeder crossing speed limits (Roads and Maritime Services 2016).
Speed camera saves lives. The statement can be proved using quantitative approach by presenting data of Royal Automobile Club Foundation of London. The research was conducted by Professor Richard Allsop for interpreting and analysing data. The data provided are accurate as the measurements were made time to time in the vicinity of the camera. The speed data is provided on the website by 85th percentile speed for the vehicles exceeding speed limit. According to the 2011 reports, there was a decline in road accidents due to serious collisions by 27% after installation of speed cameras (Massey 2013). The personal injury collisions declined by 15% in the vicinity of 551 cameras (Racfoundation.org 2016). Ms Townsend reported a reduction of deaths and serious injuries by 42% in a three-year period. Not only speed cameras save deaths, but also save cost of emergency services (Smale 2010). There was also a reduction in proportion of speeding vehicles by 10 to 35%. According to the results of IIHS Researchers in the Governors Highway Safety Association, there was reduction in behaviour of the drivers exceeding speed limit by 59% (Iihs.org 2015). The studies show that there was reduction in fatal or serious collisions, personal injury collisions, casualties or people killed (Wilson et al. 2012).
There are controversies relating to speed cameras causing or reducing fatal accidents. It is argued that collision rates rise due to presence of speed cameras. Speed cameras act as a dangerous distraction to riders as they keep checking their speed looking at the speedometer instead of concentrating on the road. It has been figured out by the Department for Transport that only 5% of the accidents are detected (Smale 2010). The resources for detecting accidents are disproportionate. The speed cameras do not account for the reasons for road conditions, misjudging distances or failure to give indications. The cameras are only placed at locations where there is heavy accident record. Speed cameras are also considered a source of massive income and job creation. There is heavy income and job generation with the sale of speed cameras. The speed cameras also increase the fatality gap (Massey 2013). The other factors that contribute to road accidents are increase in traffic, increased use of motorcycles while driving, decline in wearing helmets are ignored. The actual contributors to saving lives are the gadgets and technology that help in improving control of the vehicles. The paramedics with better equipment have been capable of saving lives and not the speed cameras. It is necessary to change the driving behaviour of individuals rather than introducing speed cameras (Winnett 2011). Not much change in behaviour of people has been observed and there has been deterring behaviour of drivers. The money earned by the speed camera companies are used for manufacturing, designing, installing and maintaining speed cameras rather than government revenue that can be used for paying army administrators who spend their time keeping a check on the roads (Wells 2012).
Contrarily, the speed cameras encourage responsibility among individuals. The motorists are aware while they increase speed and they avoid being flashed in the cameras. The advanced technologies alert the car drivers through satellite when they increase speed and they have a chance to act as responsible citizens (Massey 2013). An overall sense of awareness is developed as the motorists and car drivers drive more carefully with a fear of being caught. The surveillance and responsibility may not be taken by the drivers and they would take chances or dangerous risks. Another argument for people trying to get rid of speed cameras is that they have to pay fines for speeding vehicles (Roads and Maritime Services 2016). The facts and differences in the reduction of accidents must be considered by the government rather than bowing under public pressure. The people dislike fines for obvious reasons and government must not keep public lives at stake just for convenience. It is important to maintain speed cameras as excessive speeding kills a lot of people every year. Both the likelihood of the victim and those involved are affected by accidents. It is not possible for police officers to run after every speeding vehicle for which speed cameras can be introduced to keep regular check in the vicinity. Not only speed cameras save injury, but they also save money that involves cost. Many drivers do not cross speed limits intentionally. It is also a source of educating drivers and other people to keep within speed limits (McKenzie 2010).
Conclusively, the speed cameras must be introduced and maintained. It is too easy to creep above the limit, but there are some simple and practical things drivers who find it difficult to stay with speed limits can do to help themselves. Education must be provided through measures and campaigns for educating people to keep within limits. Speed cameras can be added for making the citizens responsible.
Groves, J., 2011. Speed Cameras 'Do Not Cut Accidents'... they create them, study finds. [online] Mail Online. Available at: <https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2029361/Speed-cameras-cut-accidents--create-study-finds.html> [Accessed 14 Jan. 2016].
Iihs.org, 2015. Speed cameras cut injury crashes. [online] Available at: <https://www.iihs.org/iihs/sr/statusreport/article/50/8/3> [Accessed 13 Jan. 2016].
Massey, R., 2013. Speed cameras 'increase risk of serious or fatal crashes': New RAC investigation raises doubts over their usefulness. [online] Mail Online. Available at: <https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2337208/Speed-cameras-increase-risk-fatal-crashes-New-RAC-investigation-raises-doubts-usefulness.html> [Accessed 13 Jan. 2016].
McKenzie, S., 2010. Speed camera sceptics endanger us all. [online] The Sydney Morning Herald. Available at: <https://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/speed-camera-sceptics-endanger-us-all-20101122-183ot.html> [Accessed 13 Jan. 2016].
Racfoundation.org, 2016. Deaths and serious injuries down a quarter near speed cameras. [online] Available at: <https://www.racfoundation.org/media-centre/speed-camera-transparency-data> [Accessed 13 Jan. 2016].
Roads and Maritime Services, 2016. Fixed speed cameras. [online] Available at: <https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/business-industry/heavy-vehicles/safety-compliance/speeding-camera-enforcement/fixed-cameras.html> [Accessed 13 Jan. 2016].
Smale, W., 2010. Do speed cameras really cut accidents? - BBC News. [online] BBC News. Available at: <https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-10762590> [Accessed 13 Jan. 2016].
Wells, H., 2012. The fast and the furious. Farnham: Ashgate.
Wilson, Willis, Hendrikz, Brocque, and Bellamy, 2012. Do speed cameras reduce road traffic crashes, injuries and deaths?. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [online] Available at: <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0012902/> [Accessed 13 Jan. 2016].
Winnett, R., 2011. Speed cameras fail to cut accidents. [online] Telegraph.co.uk. Available at: <https://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/8719263/Speed-cameras-fail-to-cut-accidents.html> [Accessed 13 Jan. 2016].