UK motorists support the use of safety camera technology to check for insurance, MOT and road tax offences.

These are some of the conclusions from IAM RoadSmart’s annual Safety Culture Report.

Research, conducted by the road safety charity reveals that almost nine in 10 (89%) motorists support. On the spot fines could then be issued by the digital roadside and mailed to guilty parties.

Getting on with it

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, says there is no reason why this can’t be done. In fact, considering the research over the last few years have consistently supported the idea. “Law-abiding citizens are totally in favour of a zero-tolerance approach when it comes to catching those who are a menace to other motorists on UK roads.”

Greig believes that “we should be using the widely available technology”. With the equipment already being in place to catch speeder, simple automated checking of records would seem a sensible evolution. However, it seems that “many police forces are yet to leverage the equipment to its full capabilities”.

“The inconvenience, as well as pain and financial misery uninsured drivers often inflict on other road users should not be overlooked, meaning we should be doing all we can to deter and punish drivers who think the rules don’t apply to them.”

Warning signs

It is generally accepted that enforcing ‘paperwork’ offences often leads to the detection of other crimes. This is also the accepted case with Traffic Police officers. Their experience when stopping drivers is that there is often a correlation with driving offenders and other criminal activities.

“This is why we support drivers in their calls for cameras to be used against those who violate the rules of the road,” added Greig.

Quicker solutions

There is also strong support for more fines to be handed to those who decide to exceed the speed limit. More than 80% agree with automatically fining drivers who go more than 10mph over the limit in school zones and urban areas. Similarly, speeders in residential areas and on motorways, albeit to a lesser extent (78% and 64%, respectively).

Greig also views speeding as “simply unacceptable”.

“Introducing automatic detection will deter drivers who are tempted to speed, which in turn will help reduce the number of casualties on our roads.”