ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Public perception of fixed digital speed cameras in NSW

Walsh, David

Speed Cameras


In July 2000 the New South Wales Road and Traffic Authority commissioned a major evaluation of its Fixed Digital Speed Camera Program. The evaluation was designed to measure the effectiveness of the Program in relation to the incidence of crashes, driver speed behaviour and community attitudes and awareness of the use of cameras and the Fixed Digital Speed Camera Program. This paper focuses on the community attitude survey component of the evaluation. A telephone survey was conducted at four times during the evaluation, September 2000, April 2001, September 2001 and September 2002. Each wave of the study included a random sample of 750 motorists from specifically defined locations, and a booster sample of 50 professional drivers from Greater Sydney. The aim of the survey was to establish community perceptions towards fixed digital speed cameras and to identify changes in attitudes and behaviours over time. Awareness of the fixed digital speed cameras grew from 64 per cent at Wave I to 82 per cent at Wave IV, and from 72 per cent in Wave I to 92 per cent in Wave IV for the booster sample. Across the four waves the incidence of respondents attributing speed cameras to revenue raising remained relatively static (15% ? 25%). Most motorists continued to see fixed digital speed cameras as having a legitimate role including reduce speeding (60%) prevent crashes (27%) and improve road safety (20%). Overall the results indicate that motorists viewed the NSW Fixed Digital Speed Camera Program as an effective road safety countermeasure.