The latest British Social Attitudes Survey has found that support for speed cameras has risen significantly over the past decade, in spite of the belief they are money-making devices.
Agreement with the proposition that ‘speed cameras save lives’ rose from a low of 42% in 2005 to 56% in 2016, while disagreement fell from 31% to a low of 19% over the same time.
Nearly half of respondents said speed cameras are mostly there to make money but only a third (32%) said that there are too many, the lowest point in the last decade.
Despite recent high profile campaigns, the level of support for the idea that ‘the law on using mobile phones whilst driving is not properly enforced’ has remained high for the last decade, with 71% agreeing or strongly agreeing.
RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said: ‘Government and industry must not let up in their efforts to explain the risks of dangerous mobile phone use to UK motorists.’
Support for speed bumps in residential streets has also risen, from 44% in favour in 2009 to 50% in 2016.
The number of respondents saying roads are too dangerous to cycle on is now at a record low, but still at 59%.
Officials said a ‘strong’ willingness to walk journeys less than 2 miles, rather than go by car, has increased, from 6% in 2006 to 14% in 2016.
Similarly, opposition to using a bus rather than a car for short journeys has fallen to 34% from 45% in 2006.
Andy Cope of walking and cycling charity Sustrans, said: ‘We are increasingly aware of the health and environmental benefits of travelling by bike and foot and this awareness is reflected in changing attitudes. The extent of demand for safe and pleasant walking and cycling routes is clear.’
Officials said concern with congestion on motorways and in towns fell slightly, after rising between 2012 and 2015.
The number of people disagreeing with the idea that ‘people should be allowed to use their cars as much as they like, even if it causes damage to the environment’ fell to a low of 31%.