A master’s thesis by Maria Draba, a student at the Academy of Security Sciences, has concluded that drivers consider speed cameras a hindrance and after passing them try to make up for the lost time by increasing their speed.
The data in the dissertation shows that the average highway driving speed had been dropping for three years running, but in 2011 began to rise, right after the installation of the speed cameras.
The academy's rector, Lauri Tabur, said that studies conducted in other countries have shown that speed cameras reduce both the number of speeding drivers and the average speed. “Unfortunately, the situation in Estonia is the opposite,” Tabur said.
According to Draba, studies show that with every 1-kph increase in velocity, the fatality rate goes up by slightly over 4 percent. "Considering this, it is highly regrettable that the average speed on the Tallinn-Tartu highway has increased in the last year," said Draba.
Experts interviewed for the thesis work said that automatic speed monitoring should be further extended in order to reduce the number of drivers who have managed to memorize the location of speed cameras by heart.
The dissertation mainly focused on the data collected from Järva County, where 15 speed cameras were installed from 2010 to 2011.