Speed cameras improve safety of drivers

More than 21,000 fatalities or serious injuries could've been prevented in 2013

NEW YORK (NBC News) – You may not see them, but you can bet they can see you.

The speed cameras popping up in communities across the United States have sparked some controversy, but a study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found they save lives.

“You can bring down speeds and you can reduce deaths,” says Adrian Lund, president of the IIHS.

The cameras resulted in an overall reduction in drivers’ speed and crashes the IIHS says is impressive.

“We saw a 59% reduction of the likelihood of people speeding,” Lund reported.

In Montgomery County, Maryland cameras are used in school zones and residential streets with speed limits of 35 mph or less.

“The overall effect that we’re seeing for Montgomery County programs is about a 39% reduction in fatal and incapacitating injury crashes on their roads,” Lund noted.

Camera-based speed enforcement is used in only about 140 jurisdictions around the country, but the IIHS study suggests more than 21,000 fatalities or serious injuries could’ve been prevented in 2013 nationwide.

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