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Slow down! Speed cameras

Rigorous research into the effects of the introduction of speed cameras has contributed to saving thousands of people from death or injury on Britain's roads since 2008. Quasi-experimental studies undertaken between 1993 and 1997 by Brunel's Department of Law surveyed 7,000 drivers on camera interventions and their impact, showing that the installation of cameras generally led to a lasting reduction in speed.

Commissioned by the Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR), the university's findings have been a key factor in the subsequent decision to roll-out the system nationally. Speed cameras were introduced in 1992 under the Road Safety Act 1991, when their effectiveness in reducing road collision casualties and influencing driver behaviour was unknown.

Recognising the benefits that technology can have inencouraging compliance with traffic- specialising in road crime and traffic law enforcement - began to explore the cameras' deterrent effects. Further research from 2006 commissioned by the Department for Transport, with Dr Corbett working in tandem with behavioural scientists from the Transport Research Laboratory, helped deepen understanding of these impacts and of the motivations of repeat speed offenders. The research has confirmed the deterrent effect of cameras and that the threat of penalty points can and does have a positive impact on drivers' speeding behaviour. It has been a key tool in helping shape the government's policy development for improving compliance with road traffic laws. Much of the developing world has adopted this approach.While cameras are considered an important means to encourage compliance with speed limits, driver education to modify speed choice behaviour may be another useful laws, lead researcher Dr Claire Corbett strategy.