Driver perceptions of police speed enforcement: differences between camera-based and non-camera based methods: results from a qualitative study
Prior research has highlighted the relationship between speeding and increased frequency and severity of traffic crashes. There is evidence to suggest that police speed enforcement, in particular speed camera operations, can be an effective tool for reducing traffic crashes. This qualitative study used focus groups with Queensland drivers (n=39) to investigate knowledge, support, and impact on self-reported speeding behaviour of a variety of police speed enforcement methods. A number of interesting themes emerged. There were many incongruities regarding participants perceptions of current police speed enforcement policies and practices. While participants perceived police speed enforcement as a revenue-raising tool for the Government, paradoxically they also reported it as serving a road-safety benefit. Non-camera based methods, such as on-road traffic patrols, received stronger support and was associated with greater self-reported compliance to speed limits than camera-based methods. Support for camera-based methods, such as mobile speed camera vans and fixed cameras, was contingent upon overt operations and greater perceived transparency in criteria used for choosing camera locations. There was also variation in the impact of camera-based methods on self-reported speeding with some participants reporting greater compliance, either site-specific or network-wide, while others reported no or little impact on speeding behaviour. Potential policy implications and directions for future research are discussed.