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Americans Like Surveillance Cameras Except at Red Lights

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Most adults nationwide support the use of surveillance cameras on police cars and in public spaces like train stations and parks, but they aren’t quite as sold on the idea of installing them at traffic intersections.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 86% of American Adults believe it’s a good idea for police cars to use surveillance cameras to monitor what happens when officers approach and apprehend suspects. Only 10% don’t like the idea. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

A majority (66%) also thinks there should be surveillance cameras in all major public spaces such as train stations, parks and sports stadiums. This idea draws opposition from 23% of adults, while 11% are undecided.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is planning on installing cameras on all buses, subways and trolleys by 2013 in part to foil false injury claims. Other big cities such as New York, Washington, DC and Atlanta have heavily increased use of surveillance cameras in recent years as an anti-crime measure.

But less than half of adults (44%) think it’s a good idea to use cameras at traffic intersections to catch speeders and those who run red lights. The same number (44%) does not see cameras at intersections as a good thing. Twelve percent (12%) are not sure.

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The national survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on October 11-12, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC . See methodology.

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