The installation of average speed cameras on the A9 in Scotland is encouraging safer driving in advance of the cameras being switched on.
Previous figures had shown that one in three drivers were exceeding the speed limit in the stretch between Perth and Pitlochry but this has now reduced to one in 10 drivers following the installation of the average speed cameras in this area.
Measures to reduce driver frustration are also moving forward with the Scottish Parliament having now approved the legislation which will allow the HGV speed limit to be raised to 50mph on single carriageway sections of the A9 when the cameras become operational in October.
Speaking ahead of a meeting with the Federation of Small Businesses in Inverness, Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “The A9 Safety Group is clear that average speed cameras are effective in saving lives and this is backed up by the facts. Before and after studies of other average speed camera sites in the UK show a reduction in accidents. On average, they achieved a 61% reduction in fatal and serious accidents. Average speed cameras encourage drivers to improve their behaviour and we are already seeing this on the A9.
“The Group is also taking forward measures to improve driver awareness of speed limits and to encourage safe overtaking on the route. Surveys have taken place in respect of driver’s attitudes and experience of the route and further initiatives are being considered.
“When the camera system is switched on, the HGV 50mph speed limit will also come into force with the backing of the Scottish Parliament. The pilot will introduce a level playing field for businesses which we expect will also benefit from less disruption caused by fatal and serious accidents.
“An analysis of incidents on the A9 last year tells us that the carriageway restrictions involved in dealing with these incidents, a large proportion of them serious accidents totalled more than 540 hours. That’s the equivalent of over 22 days of restrictions on the A9 last year. The cameras will make connections safer and more reliable and will reduce the cost to the economy of serious accidents.”
Superintendent Iain Murray of Police Scotland welcomed the reduction of speeding drivers on the A9. He added: “This is an early indication that drivers are already moderating their behaviour. This can only improve safety on the route and I would encourage all drivers to follow this example.”