Speed Cameras

The installment of speed cameras on highways is a current hot topic in today’s news. Arguments against them claim they are invasive to one’s privacy and that the government has gone too far. Advocates claim the cameras have already saved numerous lives as people drive at slower speeds. Further, there are others who believe the cameras are solely designed to make the government money. Whether they are designed to encourage better driving habits or exist for other ulterior motives still in debate. However, the truth is speed cameras are strategically placed on highways for a couple different reasons.

On every highway there are particular areas in which incur a higher volume of traffic accidents. The cause of the accidents may be due to many different factors which may not be controlled. For instance, certain areas of highways may be more prone to accidents during certain times of day. Traveling east bound on a congested freeway druing sunrise may increase the number of accidents. Because the time of day is uncontrollabe, traffic police have tried to implement other ways to lower the accidents on highways. Before speed cameras, police-unable to patrol all of the at-risk traffic areas-would set up dummy cars where a police car would sit unoccupied. Drivers would instinctively slow at the sight of the police vehicle, resulting in lower speeds and a decrease in accidents. Unfortunately, there are not enough extra police vehicles or time to place dummy cars in all of the right places. It is much too expensive to employ more officers to control the highways as most police budgets are already suffering due to the economy crisis. The recent implementation of speed cameras has changed all of this. In a very short amount of time, the cameras have slowed vehicles, lowered accidents, earned money for government agencies and have effectively recorded violators of the law.

Speed cameras are also placed in certain areas to, well, lower the speed of drivers of course! There are particluar stretches on highways where drivers tend to travel at speeds much greater than the speed limit. A common example exists when a speed is reduced on a highway from say, 65 miles per hour to 55 miles per hour. Many drivers continue to drive with a 65 mile an hour mentality (which is to say 70-75mph) which puts themselves and other drivers more at risk to get in an accident. Cameras are erected in these areas to slow the driver back down to the proper speed limit to better insure safety.

Whether speed cameras are right or wrong, if they are making money or saving lives, they have been stragecially placed on highways in areas that have a higher risk for accidents.