The use of average speed cameras has been found, on average, to cut the number of crashes resulting in death or serious injury by more than a third. Research published today for the RAC Foundation by Road Safety Analysis found that on average – having allowed for natural variation and overall trends – the number of fatal and serious collisions decreases by 36% after average speed cameras are introduced.
The average reduction in personal injury collisions of all severities was found to be 16%.
By the end of 2015 there were at least 50 stretches of road in Great Britain permanently covered by average speed cameras keeping a total length of 255 miles under observation. The 50 stretches ranged in length from under half a mile in Nottingham to 99 miles on the A9 between Dunblane and Inverness in Scotland. Many of these stretches of road will be monitored by several sets of cameras.
The first stretch of road to become permanently managed by average speed cameras was part of the A6514 Ring Road in Nottingham back in 2000. At least 12 systems were installed last year alone.
One reason for the increase in usage has been the reduction in the installation costs of permanent average speed camera systems. The cost of permanent average speed cameras is now typically around £100,000 per mile, compared with around £1.5m per mile in the early 2000s.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said, “the indications are that compliance with average speed cameras is generally high; now this research reveals the sizeable impact they can have in reducing death and serious injuries. As the cost of technology continues to fall, more and more authorities are considering whether to install average speed cameras and so it will be important to ensure that casualty and compliance data is openly available so we can continue to assess and understand the road safety benefits they deliver.”
Geoff Collins, the Sales & Marketing Director for average speed camera supplier Jenoptik added, “We have been designing and delivering average speed solutions for years now, with our own analysis of the casualty data proving beyond doubt that when appropriately used, SPECS cameras have a dramatic influence on driver behaviour and casualties. I am delighted that independent research has now backed up these claims and I look forward to continued uptake of the technology.”
Richard Owen, operations director at Road Safety Analysis, added, “measuring the influence of speed cameras in isolation from other road safety improvements over time has previously never been undertaken on this scale. The statistical results clearly show good collision reductions on the stretches of road where average speed cameras are used; often covering much longer distances than other enforcement systems. “The findings and methodology used should be of significant interest to those considering the use of this technology, as well as those wishing to evaluate their own road safety schemes.”