Speedcams help reduce fatal road accidents, but not on their own
The number of fatal accidents is steadily decreasing in the European Union (EU), with the one exception of Malta. A recent study published by Hungarian independent news portal Index suggests that the use of Speedcams is a must, but not enough on its own in order to save more lives.
The leading Hungarian online journal used the latest available statistics from Eurostat to create its report, and found that relevant data shows a high degree of variation. While only 25 people died per one million on the roads of Sweden, almost four times more: 98 died in Romania. Of course don’t forget that Swedes produce and drive Volvos in vast numbers, one of the safest cars ever built.
In Sweden, there are 3.8 Speedcams cameras per each 1,000 km2, while only 0.9 of such devices for each 1,000 km2 in Romania.
The second safest country in the EU was the UK (this might change at the end of the week, if the prolonged procedure of Brexit comes to an abrupt end) with only 27 fatal traffic accidents, and a high rate of 31.30 cameras per 1,000 km2.
The list goes on and it is safe to say: the more Speedcam cameras you have, the fewer of your taxpaying citizens are going to be lost in road accidents. But other factors also have to be considered. For instance, the traditional divisions of Europe to West and East – or North and South – seem to prevail in that context as well. It is safe to say that roads are safer in the West and the North than in the East or in the South.
As usual, you must have your inevitable and unexplainable exceptions such as Malta. With 66.5 cameras per 1,000 km2, Malta has the highest number of Speedcams installed after Belgium. Yet, the number of their fatalities per one million people is a massive 43 people. And another thing: Malta is the only Member State of the EU where the number of fatalities has been on the rise, with an increase of 18 percent in 2017 compared to 2016. Leave that for Scully and Mulder to investigate.
Long story short, in 2017, 25,300 people lost their lives in traffic accidents in EU countries. This figure was as high as 54,000 back in 2002, which means a drop of 50 percent with the trend steadily improving. We at ARH believe that the preservation of human life is the most important task of competent authorities and drivers alike.
Our speed cameras can contribute to achieving this goal.