Close to 300 of the 420 respondents agree that most traffic accidents occur due to excessive speeds, and that speed cameras help contain speed, thereby saving lives.
However, about 20% of the respondents said that they saw speed cameras as mere tools to increase government revenue while a little over 9% said installation of speed cameras is a form of indirect taxation.
Public resistance to these rears its head every now and then, whenever there is talk of any addition to the existing system. Recently, several emirates in the UAE announced plans to increase the number of cameras to reduce the number of road accidents. And some argue that such measures are being taken as a kind of money-spinners.
The primary aversion to speed cameras stems from the notion that these are not so much for road safety and traffic management as cash cows for the government. But a glance at the figures shows that this argument is false.
A report from 999 Magazine shows that fixed speed cameras are expensive to install and maintain. On an average, a speed camera can cost anywhere between Dhs150,000 to Dhs400,000 to install, depending on their location, and can cost up to another Dhs150,000 a year to maintain, atop the infrastructure set-up cost. With such a high expense, it is impossible for all speed cameras to ‘turn a profit’.
Lt Colonel Awadh Saleh Al Kindi, Editor-in-Chief of 999 Magazine, said, “The real value of the speed cameras is in the socio-economic savings. Speeding accidents result in most deaths on UAE roads, as well as damage to property. The combined cost of these accidents completely dwarfs the revenue generated by speeding fines, emphasising the necessity of stricter speed monitoring and destroying the argument that speed cameras are simply there for profit.”
The findings of a study by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, presented in April 2012, showed that car accidents cost the UAE nearly Dhs17bn in socio-economic losses in just three years (2009-2011).
More than 62% of respondents to the 999 survey on speed cameras maintain the real economic benefit of such cameras is not from the generated fines but from the reduction in accidents and deaths.
The special report is published in the September edition of English 999 magazine, a part of the Strategic Plan of the Ministry of the Interior to provide media coverage for the activities and efforts of the Ministry and Abu Dhabi Police. It also aims to encourage the public to contribute to the reduction of crime and enhancement of safety in the UAE.
Sunday, September 9- 2012 @ 15:44 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.