Poll Shows Public Support for Use of Traffic Cameras

October 1, 2001

A recent Insurance Research Council (IRC) survey of U.S. households finds that two out of three adults (65 percent) support the use of red-light cameras to enforce laws against red-light running.

In fact, public support for this type of camera enforcement has increased significantly – from 59 percent – since it was measured by the IRC a year ago. Studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have suggested that red-light cameras are effective in reducing red-light running by as much as 40 percent and significantly result in a decline in crashes resulting in injuries associated with red light running.

The IRC also examined public support for the use of speed cameras to reduce speeding on highways. These photo enforcement systems use a radar sensor to detect vehicles traveling significantly faster than the posted speed limit. These systems are used both as a way to apprehend speeders in heavily congested roadways and to deter speeding by increasing the risk of being ticketed. Slightly more than half of respondents (52 percent) favor the use of speed camera systems on highways and one in four strongly favor their use.

The results contained in IRC’s recently released report, Public Attitude Monitor 2001, Issue 1, are based on a survey conducted by Roper Starch Worldwide. The survey consisted of telephone interviews with 1,017 men and women 18 years old and older. Survey participants were selected to be representative of the population of the continental United States. Interviews were conducted May 15 through June 4, 2001.

The survey also addressed other highway safety issues such as special provisioning laws for older and younger drivers, motorcycle helmet laws, enforcement of speed limits, and drinking and driving.

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