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Speed cameras 'cause bad driving'

Speed cameras can cause erratic driving by motorists, according to a survey.

As many as 81% of drivers said they looked at their speedometers rather than the road when a camera came into view, the poll by insurance company LV= revealed.

And 5% admitted to braking suddenly when in sight of speed cameras, risking rear-end shunts.

The poll, of 1,532 drivers, also showed that 31% had witnessed an accident or a near-miss as a result of drivers' erratic behaviour when faced with a camera.

Almost half (46%) of those surveyed reckoned cameras diverted attention away from other areas of their driving, while 11% believed cameras actually increased the risk of an accident.

Also, 46% reckoned they existed only as a revenue raiser for the Government.

As many as 91% of those polled confessed to speeding, with 15% exceeding limits on a regular basis and 69% travelling at an average speed of 81 miles an hour on motorways. Only 9% said they never went over the speed limit.

LV= insurance managing director John O'Roarke said: "Speed cameras have been a feature on UK roads for almost 20 years, yet the feedback from drivers is that while they may reduce speed they also appear to impair driving ability or, at the least, concentration on the road.

"As this report shows some drivers behave erratically and, at worst, dangerously around speed cameras."

AA president Edmund King said: "We believe that far more crashes have been avoided as a result of cameras than the few that might have been caused by sudden braking."

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