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Against the Misuse of Police Waivers

Home Road Safety Disbenefits

If the offer of speed awareness courses actually improved road safety then it might be justifiable subsequent to legislation being passed to authorise these exceptional practices. But in reality there is no evidence that they have any benefit. Many people argue that the statistics that claim to provide evidence that speed cameras are an effective road safety tool are defective and it is also clear that simple speed display devices are a much more cost effective device to reduce traffic speeds and accidents.

The reliance on automated devices to control behaviour on roads is deeply flawed and the ABD has consistently opposed such an approach. Traffic police officers have been substantially reduced in recent years and this has led to worse behaviour by drivers.

Speed in excess of the speed limit is a relatively minor factor in road traffic accidents. Only 5% of personal injury accidents reported by the police have a factor of exceeding the speed limit as a contributory cause (Source: RAC Foundation/DfT). The emphasis on preventing speed limit infringements detracts from lots of other road safety improvements such as improved driver education, road engineering, more police patrols and other measures.

The only reason this is happening is because of the financial arrangements which incentivises the police to detect more speeding offences. The police have no interest in supporting other road safety measures and might actively support reductions in speed limits when they are unjustified on any technical or rational grounds. These arrangements have very little to do with improving road safety and detract from other road safety priorities.

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