A new campaign from the Partnership aims to reduce motorists speeding through an improved perception of safety cameras.
Speed is one of the biggest dangers of the road, being a causation factor of 36% of fatalities last year on the Sussex network. As such, we are launching a new campaign that has two sides to it: reducing speed, but also beginning to change the perception of safety cameras.
The first safety cameras were installed in 1991. Since then, casualties due to speeding have gone down year on year – but it is still not enough. One criticism is that speed alone doesn’t kill, but the Think! advert, from 2000s, which most will remember, says otherwise. The speed you go affects any potential impact you may have – the faster you go, the worse the results.
Speed limits on roads are set by the local authority, based on advice from police, and factor in the environment, road layout, and collision history. It is essential that you stick to the speed limits and don’t drive at a level you may have previously thought appropriate as there may be some factors involved that you aren’t aware of.
The second side to this campaign will be an interesting challenge to tackle: we frequently get complaints from motorists, insisting that cameras are “just a cash cow” or that they are only there to make money, without the idea that they are there to improve safety. Similarly, there is the idea that cameras only keep the stretch of the road they are on safe, without instigating an overall reduction in speed. This campaign aims to start dispelling some of these myths.
Camera technician Eddie Preece clarifies some further points: “Although members of the public think we are just there to catch them out, this is not the case. We make a point of placing our camera vans in very obvious places, with a big focus on conspicuity. We use high-viz materials on our vehicles, and provide fair warning via road signs for placements of both mobile and fixed cameras. This is all done in line with national guidelines. Our main aim is to make the roads safer for all, not create a source of revenue.”
The campaign will run until the summer. You can get involved by paying attention to the speed limits and conditions on the roads you use, and getting others (particularly those who drive you anywhere) to do the same. Remember, it is better to arrive alive, than dead on time.