National survey from Erie Insurance shows U.S. drivers divided over speed cameras
ERIE, Pa., Jan. 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent survey commissioned by Erie Insurance finds that half of U.S. drivers support the use of speed cameras while more than a third oppose them – but many opponents would change their minds under certain conditions.
Speed cameras and red light cameras – also known as photo enforcement – are expected to gain more attention as the nation's new infrastructure law is implemented. Under the $1.2 trillion landmark legislation, states will be able to use federal grant funds for speed camera programs in work zones, in addition to school zones which was already permitted. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding is a contributing factor in one-quarter to one-third of all U.S. traffic deaths.
The Erie Insurance survey found one in every 10 drivers (11%) admitted to driving at extreme speeds (20 mph or more over the speed limit) during the early months of the pandemic, a problem which many safety advocates say continues despite a return to near pre-pandemic traffic volumes.
The survey found that half of drivers (49%) support speed cameras while 35% oppose them. It also discovered that nearly 60% of drivers who do not support or are neutral about speed cameras would support their installation on roads with a documented speeding or crash problem and on roads used frequently by pedestrians and bicycles.
"As a company that sees tragic consequences of speeding, Erie Insurance commissioned this survey to draw attention to the fact that speeding is a huge problem, but it's within our collective power to solve it," said Jon Bloom, vice president of personal auto, Erie Insurance. "Many lives could be saved if more drivers would simply follow the speed limit."
The survey also found that:
54% of U.S. drivers believe speed cameras are an effective way to get people to obey speed limits, while 23% disagree with this.
Nearly half (46%) of drivers disagree that speed cameras violate people's privacy, while one-third feel they do (33%).
More than half of drivers (53%) think speed cameras are more about raising revenue for governments than about improving traffic safety, although 23% disagree with this.
The majority of people (61%) think drivers who are photographed speeding should get a ticket only if they're going more than 10 mph over the speed limit.
According to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, approximately 170 U.S. communities currently use speed cameras, and automated enforcement legislation is pending in 15 states. Speed cameras may become more prevalent with implementation of the new infrastructure law.
Interest in photo enforcement may also increase pending the results of a pilot program launched by national safety groups to evaluate how a combination of education, engineering and equitable enforcement can reduce speeding.
"A properly constructed photo enforcement program is a proven effective tool to significantly reduce speeding and crashes, making the roads safer for everyone who uses them," said IIHS Vice President for Research Jessica Cicchino. "It's an equitable and consistent way to enforce speed limits 24/7. Safety groups have developed an automated enforcement checklist to help communities implement programs successfully."
Methodology The survey was conducted online by Falls & Co. on behalf of Erie Insurance, from August 22 through September 2, 2021, among 500 U.S. licensed drivers ages 18 and older. Falls & Co. established the sampling quotas, designed the questionnaire, tabulated the survey responses, and managed the overall project. Falls & Co. used Dynata (Plano, TX) to administer the survey via the internet, including mobile devices, to Dynata's captive U.S. panels who met the age, gender, and regional demographic criteria.
About Erie Insurance According to A.M. Best Company, Erie Insurance Group, based in Erie, Pennsylvania, is the 12th largest homeowners insurer, 13th largest automobile insurer and 13th largest commercial lines insurer in the United States based on direct premiums written. Founded in 1925, Erie Insurance is a Fortune 500 company and the 16th largest property/casualty insurer in the United States based on total lines net premium written. Rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best, ERIE has more than 6 million policies in force and operates in 12 states and the District of Columbia. News releases and more information are available on ERIE's website at www.erieinsurance.com.