Average speed cameras could be a threat to safety

News of a potential increase in the use of average speed cameras, sends shudder down my spine. It's not that I have any desire to flout the speed limits. I just think that the best place for our eyes to focus, as drivers, is on the road.... not on our speedometers!

In any case, the statistics are quite clear. Exceeding speed limits – according to Government figures – is the cause of only 5% of accidents. So – if we are really serious about road safety – we should be putting more emphasis on what causes the other 95% of accidents.


Failure to look properly accounts for a third of all accidents. These should be focussed on the road – not on the speedometer!

The benefit of traditional speed cameras is that they can be (but often aren't) used to ensure that we do slow down where speed is critical. Situations like dangerous road junctions. Or outside playgrounds or schools.

There they encourage drivers to think about the speed they are doing, glance (and hopefully only a glance!) at the speedometer, before getting their eyes back where they should be, on the road.

Average speed cameras (unless you happen to have cruise control) mean that you have to watch the speedometer like a hawk, to the inevitable detriment of looking at the road and observing what is going on around you.

And guess what is by far the largest cause of accidents, accounting for a third?

Failure to look properly!

That ought to give those who want average speed cameras something to think about.
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