Study: Speed Cameras Could Reduce Highway Deaths
From Charles Montaldo,
Your Guide to Crime / Punishment.
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Apr 23 2006
Could Save 10,000 Lives a Year, Researchers Say
Installing speed camera networks in the United States -- like the ones used extensively in England, Australia and France -- could reduce the number of highway deaths by 10,000 a year, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Speed cameras (like the one pictured here from the UK) for detecting and deterring speeders on the highway have rarely been used in the United States, but they have had a major impact on reducing road death tolls, the researchers report.

According to the Israeli and American research team conducting the study, the installation of speed cameras, traffic circles (roundabouts) and other measures have reduced the number of highway fatalities by 33.9 percent in the UK.

The use of speed camera networks has been credited for reducing highway deaths 21 percent in Sweden, 24 percent in Denmark, 31 percent in Queensland, Australia and 50 percent in Victoria, Australia.

The study reported that after the federal speed limit on Interstate highways was abolished in 1995 and 32 states increased their speed limits, the death toll on the highways increased 15 percent. When many states set the speed limit at 75 miles per hour on Interstate highways, by 2003, highway fatalities had risen 38 percent.

Fewer Highway Deaths Per Year
Prof. Elihu Richter, lead author of the study, said if the United States had implemented the speed control policies of the UK during the 1990s, and had it not raised speed limits, there would have been, at the minimum, between 6,500 to 10,000 fewer deaths per year.

The study was by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and jointly undertaken by a team from the Injury Prevention Center at the Braun Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health and Community Medicine; the Department of Surgery & Trauma Center, Hadassah University Hospital; and the University of Illinois School of Public Health.