SURVEY - Automated Speed Enforcement

red light camera signA recent survey by ResearchCo has found that 7 out of 10 British Columbians approve of using intersection cameras to conduct speed enforcement as well as ticketing red light runners. The survey also found that just over half of us also support the use of point to point speed cameras while over 3 in 5 support either fixed or mobile speed cameras.

The survey does note that support for fixed or mobile speed cameras is down slightly from a survey conducted in 2018.



Survey is biased

Assuming the entire survey consisted of the question/response posted at the link (reproduced below), the survey is demonstrably biased. It's an excellent example of asking a question in the form you expect to get your desired response from.

QEUSTION:  Do you approve or disapprove of using the following kinds of speed enforcement in British Columbia?

The respondent is lead to believe automated speed enforcement is coming whether you want it or not. While the question says "speed enforcement ", it's really asking about "automated speed enforcement ". Where are the response options for "Police officer on the side or road" or "Police officer is roaming police criuiser" ?

The question is leading and the responses are restricted. It's also little bit of a motherhood and apple pie question; who's going to realistically say they do not believe in speed (or general law) enforcement ?

A  respondent is lead to believe automated speed enforcement is coming back whether you want it or not. Regardless whether you find that palatable or not, choose from the following options It could be argued only those "strongly approve" are in favour, the moderates could be picking the lesser or all evils.

No other context or implementation details, such as the thresholds (ie: how much over the speed limit or how much in excess over the median to trigger enforcement,) are provided.

Every single day driving in Vancouver, you will observe instances where the median traffic speed exceeds the posted limit. If the survey said "the law is the law". Radar technology is far more accurate than one's speedometer. If the survey preamble said, "enforcement shall target all vehicles traveling in excess of 5% over the speed limit (we'll allow for the speedometer margin of error)", what would be the response results?


Fixed speed cameras
– Cameras that stay in one location and measure speed as a vehicle passes; they can be placed in school zones or on other roads.

Strongly approve 32%
Moderately approve 37%
Moderately disapprove 13%
Strongly disapprove 12%
Not sure 7%

Mobile speed cameras
– Cameras that can be moved from place to place; they measure speed as a vehicle passes.

Strongly approve 26%
Moderately approve 37%
Moderately disapprove 15%
Strongly disapprove 15%
Not sure 8%

Speed-on-green intersection cameras
– Red light cameras that also capture vehicles that are speeding through intersections.

Strongly approve 34%
Moderately approve 34%
Moderately disapprove 14%
Strongly disapprove 11%
Not sure 6%

Point-to-point enforcement
– Uses cameras at two or more distant points on a road. The average speed of vehicles that pass between points is calculated and tickets are issued to vehicles whose average speed over the distance was excessive.

Strongly approve 21%
Moderately approve 31%
Moderately disapprove 20%
Strongly disapprove 18%
Not sure 10%


Interesting survey

First thing I noticed about this report is that the highest percentage of people that say they strongly approve when asked Day's spent driving goes from 43 to 49 percent that claimed they "Never" drive. with the exception of point to point enforcement which is at 36%. In the strongly and moderately approve again with the exception of point to point 72 -  75% claim they never drive, point to point is 58%. The percentages reported under Days spent driving just do not add up.

Now they do have it broken down by age group and region but there is nothing saying how large the sample was in any category.

Don't put any faith in this report.


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