Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Speed cameras in an urban setting: a cost–benefit analysis
  1. Joan Mendivil1,
  2. Anna García-Altés1,2,
  3. Katherine Pérez1,2,
  4. Marc Marí-Dell'Olmo1,2,
  5. Aurelio Tobías3
  1. 1Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  2. 2CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain
  3. 3Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA), Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), Barcelona, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anna García-Altés, Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona, Plaça Lesseps 1, Barcelona 08023, Spain; annagarcia{at}


Background To perform a cost–benefit analysis of the installation of speed cameras on the beltways of Barcelona.

Methods The analysis was performed from the society perspective over a 2-year period using a controlled before-and-after study design. The net benefit was calculated using, as benefits, the willingness to pay for the estimated number of people who avoided injury as a consequence of the intervention, subtracting costs and savings. Sensitivity analyses were performed using the maximum and minimum estimated number of people who avoided injury, assuming that there was a minimum of one death avoided, using the maximum value of a statistical life, assigning all implementation costs to the first year and assuming there was no time lost due to speed reduction.

Results Base case results showed a net benefit of €6.8 million. Sensitivity analyses suggested that net benefits could range from €5.6 to €23.1 million over 2 years.

Conclusions The use of speed cameras in urban areas has a favourable economic impact even when assessed using conservative assumptions.

  • Cost benefit analyses
  • traffic crashes
  • public health
  • economics

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 69th Health Economics Study Group Meeting. The discussion from this meeting had a considerable impact on the final manuscript.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.