THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
Drivers from America moving to the UK have a lot of changes to contend with, not least driving on the opposite side of the road. However, a recent study has found that another key difference between the US and the UK is that on British soil, you're more likely to encounter a speed camera.
According to research undertaken by automotive firm Redex, there are 6,942 known speed cameras in the UK, compared to 6,041 across the whole of the United States. Interestingly, the majority of the UK's cameras, 3,982, monitor speed on roadways, compared to 780 which monitor adherence to red lights. In the US, the figures are almost opposite, with 4,304 cameras at red lights in the States, and 1,567 monitoring speed on roads.
The Redex study found that the top three countries for known speed camera numbers are Brazil, Italy and Russia. The UK comes in fourth, whilst the US is fifth, followed by Germany and France. Nearer the bottom of the list, countries with the fewest fixed cameras included Ireland, Japan and South Korea.
Redex also analysed speed limits. The study found that "in the US, some states allow up to 75 mph (120 kph) in urban areas – that’s 5 mph more than the legal limit on motorways here in the UK." The study does go on to note that "the USA imposes a standard 70 mph on its motorways, which is significantly lower than some countries. Indeed, four countries – including Germany with its famous autobahns – don’t enforce any speed limit on motorways, while others, including Iraq, Bulgaria and the UAE have an 87 mph (140 kph) motorway limit."
Whilst some drivers in the UK think the 70mph limit for motorways is too slow, the study also notes that "On motorways in Bhutan, the fastest you’ll be going is 31 mph (50 kph). Elsewhere, like in Bangladesh, Bolivia and Fiji, a 50 mph (80 kph) limit is the maximum ... Of course, lots of countries don’t have the infrastructure that we do here in the UK, so speed limits are designed to keep people safe on potentially hazardous roads."
What the research does show is that it's important to stay safe and be aware when on UK roads, as they're very different to what most American drivers may be used to.
To see the full study, go to www.holtsauto.com/redex/news/worlds-highest-speed-limits-revealed