The AA Road Safety Manifesto

Engineering, Enforcement and Education

6 October 2009

Emergency services attend a serious road traffic accident

The AA is pulling together a road safety manifesto based on responses to surveys among the 75,000 strong AA/Populus panel.

Speed cameras

Over the last 8 years AA member polls have consistently shown high levels of acceptance of speed cameras – support has ranged from 76% to 69%.

In October 2008, AA/Populus panel members (11,388 responses) were asked:

"It is now common for the police to use speed cameras at the side of the road to identify vehicles involved in speeding offences. How acceptable do you think this is?"

Very acceptable 25%
Quite acceptable 45%
Not very acceptable 20%
Not at all acceptable 10%
Don't know 1%

So, perhaps contrary to popular belief, 70% of drivers accept the use of cameras.

Regulation and enforcement

An AA/Populus Poll in June 2009 (13,905 responses) showed that 58% of drivers accept tighter regulation, for example, lower speed and alcohol limits and greater police enforcement to achieve the Government's new road safety target.

The proposed new target to reduce road casualties by a third (2,000 deaths by 2020) also gained some approval from the AA/Populus panel with a third saying it was about right, 30% saying it was over ambitious and 22% saying it was under ambitious.

The three E's of road safety

Road safety policy needs to address the three E's, Engineering (roads & cars), Enforcement and Education.

The first AA/Populus poll (April 2008, 17,476 responses) showed that engineering was the preferred option (72% in favour) with more police the next (25%) and more speed cameras (4%).

An AA/Populus survey of 13,905 AA members in June 2009 found that 80% of drivers felt that drivers who commit certain minor offences (such as speeding) should be offered a driver improvement course, at their own expense, as an alternative to prosecution.


Commenting, Edmund King, AA president, said: "Although it may appear contrary to popular wisdom, a vast majority of AA members (70%) accept speed cameras and 80% support speed awareness courses. The AA believes that road safety policy should be a combination of Education, Engineering and Enforcement. Our members want to see more cops in cars but they also support cameras and road improvements to make roads safer. We will be going back to our members to get more insight into their views on road safety prior to the next election."

We need your views on motoring, join the AA/Populus Panel

The AA Charitable Trust is offering free Drive Smart courses for new drivers most at risk. See for details.

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6 October 2009