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SERC/Urban and Spatial Programme Discussion Paper
Do Speed Cameras Save Lives?
Cheng Keat Tang
September 2017
Paper No' SERCDP0221:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: H23; I18; R41

Tags: accidents; injuries; fatalities; speed camera; speeding

I evaluate whether speed enforcement cameras reduce the number and severity of traffic accidents by penalizing drivers for exceeding speed limits. Relying on micro data on accidents and speed cameras across Great Britain, I find that installing these devices significantly enhance road safety. Putting another 1,000 cameras reduce around 1130 collisions, 330 serious injuries, and save 190 lives annually, generating net benefits of around £21 million. However, these effects are highly localised around the camera and dissipate over distance, and there is suggestive evidence of more collisions away from the camera, illustrating the possible limitations associated with fixed speed cameras.