Speeding Cameras Slow Traffic, N.C. State Study Shows

Posted December 8, 2005 8:30 a.m. EST

— Speed enforcement cameras, clearly marked with warning signs, slow traffic, according to a new North Carolina State University study.

The study, funded by the Governor's Highway Safety Program, found a 55 percent reduction in speeds 10 miles over the speed limit, which, according to researcher Chris Cunningham, is a typical threshold with police enforcement.

Automated speed enforcement cameras arrived in Charlotte two years ago after special legislation made the Queen City a test case for speeding tickets with no pullover. Similar to red-light cameras, violators receive citations in the mail.

Since being posted at intersections more than two years ago, Raleigh leaders say the red-light cameras reduced collisions by 17 percent. Fourteen of the cameras are set up across the city and more than 35,000 people have been cited.

Concerning automated speed enforcement cameras, Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said his concern is how accurate the machines are and how much effect they have on reducing speed on roadways.

"I think we need to be practical," Meeker said. "If they're really working, we can use them. If they're not working, then they're not worth the effort."

The Governor's Highway Safety Program will now review the study's results and make recommendations to the state Legislature. If more special legislation passes, the speed enforcement cameras could be up in many more cities across the state.