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Correct use of speed cameras reduces accidents

A speed camera clocks vehicles traveling southbound on

A speed camera clocks vehicles traveling southbound on Utopia Parkway near 56th Avenue towards Francis Lewis High School in Queens on Sept. 2, 2014. Credit: Charles Eckert

In places where school-zone speed cameras have been used sensibly for a significant period, they have helped. In Mesa, Arizona, for instance, serious-injury collisions in intersections monitored for speed declined by 35.5 percent between 2007 and 2011, and school-hour speeds at the monitored schools dropped by an average of more than 8 mph after cameras were deployed. Evaluations of programs in Maryland, the District of Columbia, New Orleans and Portland, Oregon, have shown that exceeding the limit by more than 10 mph generally declines by at least two-thirds in zones where the cameras are operated, but climbs back up when camera programs are halted. As infuriating as receiving a ticket can be, hardly anyone would argue that speeding is OK. If a reasonable camera program can help, then it should be used.