Jackpot shot for safe drivers

SWEDEN has trialled an innovative system that rewards safe drivers by entering them in a lottery funded by speeding drivers.

The Swedish National Society for Road Safety trialled the system after it was suggested as a means of rewarding people who obeyed speed limits in Stockholm rather than breaking the rules.

The system uses a traffic camera that takes a photo of every vehicle driving past. If the car is speeding, the vehicle’s owner is issued with an infringement notice, with the fine tipped into a pool of money.

However, if the car is obeying the speed limit, the owner is sent a lottery ticket giving them a chance to win a share of the speeding motorists’ fines.

Over a three-day trial, almost 25,000 cars were caught on camera, although no numbers are available that show how many were caught speeding. The experiment was able to reduce the average speed of cars travelling through a school zone from 32km/h before the system’s installation to 25km/h.

The Swedish road traffic authority is now considering expanding the experiment to include kindergartens and residential areas using a series of portable systems.The idea behind the Speed Camera Lottery was entered in a competition run by Volkswagen to discover fun ways to encourage people to change their behaviour.

Other ideas have included traffic lights that display fun facts while cars are stopped, exercise machines at bus stops, and beer crates that encourage people to recycle bottle caps by including a ‘‘connect four’’-style game on the side.

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