Say it quietly, but there’s evidence that average speed cameras manage to be both effective and not solely targeted at motorists’ wallets.
Since the millennium the use of Speed Check Services (SPECS) cameras has crept up as their installation costs has fallen.
Old fixed cameras are also coming to the end of their life, with most having endured abuse, attacks and ridicule for 25 years, something Noel Edmonds will share an affinity with.
More than 250 miles of roads in GB are now regularly monitored by SPECS, according to RAC Foundation data, and the indications are that compliance with the speed limit through stretches managed by average speed cameras is high.
It says the acid test will be whether accident and casualty rates have fallen, but there are already results out there showing that they have.
A separate report from the A9 safety group details the effects SPECS is having on the 98.55 miles of road up between Dunblane and Inverness.
Annual average fatal casualties are down 30%, fatal and serious collisions are down 44% and the number of vehicles speeding has reduced from one in three to one in 10.
The report states that on average, little more than a dozen vehicles per day are detected exceeding the limits: “The latest quarterly data indicates that over the first 18 months of operation there have been on average 13 vehicles per day detected exceeding the ‘operational threshold’.”
It adds: “In considering the average daily traffic volume in each direction of over 10,000 vehicles between Perth & Inverness and 24,000 vehicles between Dunblane and Perth this equates to an operational compliance in the region of 99.97% which is exceptionally good given the continuous enforcement capability on the route.”
RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding says ‘spot’ speed cameras are perceived by the motoring public to be more about revenue raising than saving lives and he adds that their average counterparts could bring drivers on side:
“Clearly a high compliance rate means a very low penalty rate and hence both road safety and drivers’ wallets could benefit from greater use of these systems in appropriate places,” he says.
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