Saturday, 14 May 2011

Saving Lives and Money: The Costs and Benefits of Speed Cameras

Here’s an extract from an article in the Financial Times by Robert Wright, published on 2.4.2011, entitled “Speed camera support set to spread”. The article notes that “… each road fatality is estimated to cost £1.8m….Most of the costs of accidents falls on organisations including the police and the NHS, that are funded separately from local governments. In other areas, although research has found that spending on speed cameras produces 2.7 times more overall benefits than costs, local authorities appear to be calculating that, since other agencies meet most of the costs of traffic accidents, there is little to be gained by footing the bill to prevent them.” (Click here for more evidence from the DFT’s four year evaluation report on the national safety camera programme).

So, two typical problems here: first, money spent on speed cameras comes out of over-stretched budgets today, while benefits accrue tomorrow; second, the money which is spent by one bit of the public sector gets saved by another. If you’re Captain Gatso, titular head of the anti-speed camera vigilante movement, this is all good news. But not for the rest of us.

No comments:

Post a Comment