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Effectiveness of speed cameras in preventing road traffic collisions and related casualties: Systematic review

Pilkington, Paul; Kinra, Sanjay


Sanjay Kinra


Objectives: To assess whether speed cameras reduce road traffic collisions and related casualties. Design Systematic review. Data sources Cochrane Injuries Group Specialised Register, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Medline, Embase, Social Science Citation Index, TRANSPORT database, ZETOC, the internet (including websites of road safety and motoring organisations), and contact with key individuals and organisations. Main outcome measures: Road traffic collisions, injuries, and deaths. Inclusion criteria: Controlled trials and observational studies assessing the impact of fixed or mobile speed cameras on any of the selected outcomes. Results: 14 observational studies met the inclusion criteria; no randomised controlled trials were found. Most studies were before-after studies without controls (n = 8). All but one of the studies showed effectiveness of cameras up to three years or less after their introduction; one study showed sustained longer term effects (4.6 years after introduction). Reductions in outcomes across studies ranged from 5% to 69% for collisions, 12% to 65% for injuries, and 17% to 71% for deaths in the immediate vicinity of camera sites. The reductions over wider geographical areas were of a similar order of magnitude. Conclusions: Existing research consistently shows that speed cameras are an effective intervention in reducing road traffic collisions and related casualties. The level of evidence is relatively poor, however, as most studies did not have satisfactory comparison groups or adequate control for potential confounders. Controlled introduction of speed cameras with careful data collection may offer improved evidence of their effectiveness in the future.


Pilkington, P., & Kinra, S. (2005). Effectiveness of speed cameras in preventing road traffic collisions and related casualties: Systematic review. BMJ, 330(7487), 331-334.

Journal Article Type Review
Publication Date Feb 12, 2005
Deposit Date Jan 22, 2010
Journal British Medical Journal
Print ISSN 0959-8138
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 330
Issue 7487
Pages 331-334
Keywords speed cameras, road traffic collisions, effectiveness, systematic review
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This paper was the world's first systematic review of speed camera effectiveness, making a significant contribution to the high profile worldwide debate on the use of speed cameras. The intended audiences included policy makers, health professionals, the media and the general public. It received widespread media coverage, being reported in national newspapers, BBC online, BBC and independent radio interviews, and BBC1 and ITV1 regional news. The paper has been cited in a UK Parliamentary briefing, a NICE review, and an EU policy document, as well as in peer reviewed publications.