SPEED cameras can cause erratic and dangerous driving, according to a new survey by Bournemouth-based insurance company LV=.

When a camera comes into view as many as 81 per cent of motorists look at their speedometers rather than the road, putting themselves at other road users at risk.

Thirty one per cent of motorists questioned in a poll of 1,532 drivers have witnessed an accident or a near-miss as a result of drivers’ erratic behaviour when faced with a camera with five per cent braking suddenly when a camera come into sight.

Almost half of those polled said cameras diverted attention away from other areas of their driving with 11 per cent saying they increased the risk of an accident. Forty-six per cent reckoned they existed only as a revenue riser for the Government.

LV= managing director John O’Roarke said the feedback from drivers showed that while cameras may reduce speed they also appear to impair driving ability or, at the least, concentration on the road.

He added: “As this report shows some drivers behave erratically and, at worst, dangerously around speed cameras.

“When driving it’s important to maintain a constant speed within the legal limits on the road. “Excessive speed contributes to 12 per cent of all injury collisions and we’d encourage drivers to stick to all speed limits and not wait for a camera to reduce their speed suddenly.”

A Dorset Road Safe spokeswoman said: “We have no knowledge of this report or its contents and therefore are unable to comment.”