The U.S. public is skeptical of speed cameras because they are seen as revenue generators. Many cities do indeed raise funds via traffic tickets, although they are primarily issued by police officers, not cameras. Ironically, cameras are poor long-term sources of revenue and therefore can directly address revenue concerns. Our survey of the U.S. public shows concerns about revenue are associated with greater opposition to cameras and greater distrust of the government. We find that re-framing cameras as a tool to prevent revenue-oriented ticketing increases public support. Finally, we recommend several institutional changes to help gain and maintain support.
Dr. Kelcie Ralph is an Associate Professor at the Bloustein School