Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum by Direct Line (RTS 30A)


  I am writing to you following the Select Committee's third oral evidence session on 27 February. During that meeting, Geoffrey Bidulph, the Home Office Road Crime Official, referred to Direct Line research on public support for the use of speed cameras.

  It seemed clear following the Committee's questioning that the Home Office has not yet undertaken a full assessment of the situation. I thought it might be useful to the Committee to clarify the position with regard to the Direct Line findings.

  The research in question was undertaken by MORI for Direct Line in 2001. The findings were based on interviews with 2,000 motorists and covered a whole range of motoring issues including opinions on road traffic speed. The findings were made available to Mr Bidulph at a presentation at the Home Office by Direct Line last autumn. They were also used as part of Direct Line's written submission to the Select Committee's inquiry.

  The figures revealed a number of opinions in relation to speed cameras, which I thought the Committee might be interested in:

    —  There are serious issues regarding the enforcement of speed cameras. The findings showed that nearly two-thirds of those drivers who had been flashed (one third of all drivers) had received no further notification or penalty from the authorities.

    —  69 per cent of motorists believed that speed cameras has a positive impact on reducing the number of road traffic accidents, with 88 per cent agreeing that the presence of a speed camera makes them more conscious of the speed at which they are travelling. 75 per cent said they are more likely to stay within the speed limit when a camera is present.

    —  When asked whether they thought speed cameras should be hidden or made obvious through adequate road signage, 69 per cent favoured overt speed cameras with a further 13 per cent favouring a mixture of overt and covert cameras.

  Unfortunately, Direct Line did not survey drivers on whether they favoured the introduction of yellow speed cameras, as the DTLR now seems to support following their eight pilot schemes.

  However, these findings do suggest that the public have a far more responsible approach to speeding and an appreciation of the value of speed cameras, which often goes under reported in the media.

  I do hope this is of some use to the Committee. If you would like any further information, I would be happy to discuss the issue with you in more detail.

Mark Twigg, Public Affairs Manager

Direct Line Group

1 March 2002

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