The majority of British drivers believe that average speed cameras are more effective that single location devices at slowing down motorists and improving road safety.

In a survey of more than 2,000 drivers, 79% said that the use of average speed cameras was more likely to slow down drivers and play a play a greater role in road safety than traditional single-location cameras.

Most of the drivers (70%) questioned by the RAC believed that single cameras were effective at cutting speeds but the majority (80%) felt they made little difference beyond where they are sited.

In contrast, 86% said that average cameras helped ensure drivers stick to the limit over longer distances.

When asked if they felt one type of camera was fairer on motorists, 46% said that it was not a question of whether one is fairer than the other, but that they are both there to improve road safety. However, a quarter believe average speed cameras are fairer. Only 7% said fixed location speed cameras were fairer on motorists.

Overall, motorists remain divided over the purpose of speed cameras. While around a third believe they are purely there for safety and another third say they improve safety and raise revenue, more than a quarter (27%) believe they are primarily about making money from drivers.

RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said the results could point to a growing acceptance of speed enforcement.

He commented: “We know that some drivers can be very cynical about speed cameras, with a significant minority having told us they believe they are more about raising revenue than they are about road safety.

“Interestingly, these latest findings show there is now a strong acceptance that they are there to help save lives and prevent casualties on the road

“Our research suggests the growing use of average speed cameras in motorway roadworks and increasingly on sections of A-road is reinforcing the road safety message as they are extremely effective at slowing down drivers. For instance, on the A9 in Scotland the number of deaths has halved since average speed cameras were introduced between Dunblane and Inverness in October 2014.

“This type of use of average speed cameras, together with the constant addition of more miles of smart motorways with strictly enforced variable speed limits, may be contributing to a shift in perception in favour of regulated speed enforcement over longer stretches of road.”

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