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Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Speed Cameras Save Money
The study looked at speed cameras installed on all of the major routes leading into and out of Barcelona Spain. The study’s authors did a cost analysis of these cameras for 2003-2005; comparing the cost of their installation and maintenance with the cost of time spent by police when writing out tickets for speeders.
Those costs were then compared to the costs of medical treatment, property damage, and lost productivity in the Barcelona area during the same period. Based on the data it was estimated that there were 364 fewer traffic collisions and 507 fewer injuries to vehicle occupants during the first two years of speed camera operation.
Comparing the costs, the study authors determined that the speed cameras saved more than 6.8 million Euros or more than 9.6 million dollars. The bulk of the savings came in reduced property damage and medical treatment costs. The authors stated that their figures are extremely conservative and cost savings could equal almost 32 million dollars.
Cost savings occurring from fewer collisions include:
- Freeing up police and emergency medical personnel
- Fewer emergency room visits
- Decrease in loss of productivity due to traffic tie-ups and injuries to workers
- Decrease in lifetime disability costs from permanently disabling injuries
- Decrease in legal costs
- Decreased volume of court cases
When looking at the installation of these automated traffic control devices, more thought should be given to lives saved and decreased cost to government over the long term rather than short term revenue gains.