Speed Cameras That Reward Good Drivers: Yes, Please!

25 November 2008

Imagine opening a letter from the Police one day, that writes, "Dear sir/madam, you were caught by speed cameras for driving safely within the speed limit.  Enclosed is a voucher for £30 off your council tax."  Would that start encouraging you to start driving slower than a 90 year old lady with bilateral cataracts?  I doubt it.

But a poll from car insurance firm Swinton indicates that the positive psychology theory of rewarding someone for good behaviour instead of beating them to a pulp may be the preferred technique in the UK. The leading car insurance retailer polled 2,000 people to see whether through a financial incentive, they would drive safer.   The results were positively... yes.

The survey indicates that 48% of drivers, which according to 2007's DVLA figures of 41.2 million drivers in the UK translate to approximately 19.7 million drivers, would vote for speed cameras that reward people who stick to the speed limit, instead of penalising people who drive to fast.

The data came at a time when tougher driving penalties are being proposed by ministers that may include up to six points for breaking the speed limit with a court hearing.

According to Which?, 44% of drivers voted against this, while 9% were unsure.  How that adds up to 100%, I still can't figure out.  Maybe you can vote twice.  Maybe my Microsoft calculator is malfunctioning.  All is possible, but I will not accept that I may have to go back and learn some statistics again.

[Which?]

2 comments

  • SJT
    Call me a naysayer, but sounds like an excuse so that the government would be able to track your speed all the time so taht they "can reward the slow drivers"
  • Colin
    I'd probably go for that - but I try to stick to the speed limits anyway, so it wouldn't actually be altering any behaviour in me. And I think I'd possibly be offended that people were getting something for doing something I'd been doing unrewarded all along.

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