The use of average speed cameras has, on average, cut the number of collisions resulting in death or serious injury by more than a third, according to new research.
Produced for the RAC Foundation by Road Safety Analysis (RSA), the study found that, having allowed for natural variation and overall trends, the number of fatal and serious collisions decreases by 36% after average speed cameras are introduced. In addition, the number of collisions resulting in injuries of all severities is cut by 16%.
The findings will be presented today (4 October) at the TISPOL Road Safety Conference by Richard Owen, operations director at RSA. Mr Owen will also present the findings as part of the Fringe at the 2016 National Road Safety Conference in November.
Richard Owen said: “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.”
At the end of 2015, there were at least 50 stretches of road in Great Britain, with a total length of 255 miles (410 km), permanently covered by average speed cameras. These stretches range in length from under half a mile in Nottingham to 99 miles (159 km) on the A9 between Dunblane and Inverness in Scotland. Many of these stretches of road are broken down into subsections (79 in total) monitored by several sets of cameras.
The report says that one reason for the increase in usage has been the reduction in the installation costs of permanent average speed cameras, which 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: “All the indications are that compliance with average speed cameras is 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.”