Are Too Many Cameras Trivialising Speeding Offences?

Award winning insurance intermediary, The A&A Group Ltd, has warned that the large number of speeding cameras on our roads may be trivialising the offence to such an extent that points on a driving licence are almost coming to be accepted as the norm.

"Points for speeding seem to be losing their impact because of the sheer number of motorists with speeding convictions, which in turn is a direct result of the increasing number of speed cameras in unnecessary locations", says A&A Group Chairman Tony Allen.

Tony believes this is a retrograde move that sends out the wrong signals to drivers about the dangers of speeding and could result in more accidents and greater road casualty figures in the longer term.

"Drivers often regard speed cameras with distain and some adjust their driving style accordingly," he says. "How many times do you see drivers brake sharply to pass through a camera and then accelerate again"?

"This is not good driving practice and it actually increases the chances that following cars will not respond to the change of speed in enough time to avoid an accident. Far from promoting road safety, there is an argument that in some locations speed cameras can even cause accidents.

"With so many opportunities to get caught speeding and often for just being a few mph over the limit, it sometimes becomes difficult to blame motorists for adopting an indifferent attitude to the offence, even though it is wrong and potentially dangerous.

"But what they are forgetting are the additional implications of speeding points on their insurance costs, which can add up along with the points and can make a large financial difference.

"The penalties for points levied by insurers may be less severe than they were, but they still make a difference and I would urge convicted motorists to try to limit the financial damage by finding an insurer that makes a distinction between numbers of points and the actual offence they were given for.

"The A&A Group, for example, realises the difference in seriousness of doing 55mph in a residential area and 85mph on a motorway and we take this into account when assessing premiums for convicted drivers, even though on paper both offences may carry the same three-point penalty.

"By looking closely at what points are for, we are often able to provide convicted drivers with cheaper policies.

"Whilst this does not solve the problem of speed cameras trivialising what can be a serious offence, it does at least go some way to mitigating their consequences by not unfairly punishing motorists that get caught committing a relatively minor indiscretion," he adds.

In the meantime, perhaps it is time all parties involved in the ongoing speeding debate re-evaluated what they are trying to achieve and worked harder to find a practical and safer solution.

19 November 2005 Staff

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