Data for the first nine months since the introduction of an average speed camera system on the A9 in Scotland shows ‘improved driver behaviour’ and ‘encouraging’ casualty statistics, according to the A9 Safety Group.
The A9 trunk road is the main route that connects central Scotland and the Highlands. It stretches from Dunblane, situated north of Stirling, and travels north bypassing Perth and Inverness before finishing in Thurso. The route is made up of single and dual carriageways with varying speed limits.
The A9 Safety Group was set up by Transport Scotland as a multi-agency group to reduce fatal and serious road traffic accidents on the route, before and during a programme of works to dual the A9.
The latest data includes details of collisions and casualties recorded in the first six months of the cameras being operational (Oct 2014 – Mar 2015).
The A9 Safety Group says the data demonstrates the “improved driver behaviour on the A9 between Dunblane and Inverness with the average speed cameras delivering compliance levels in excess of 99.96%”.
The Group describes the first set of casualty data as “very encouraging”, with the number of fatal and serious casualties between Dunblane and Inverness (the stretch of the A9 where cameras are operating) down by 50% when compared to the average for the same period between 2011-2013. The Group says there have also been “substantial reductions” in the number of injury accidents and overall casualties.
However, the data also shows an increase in fatal casualties on the stretch of the road between Perth and Inverness. The A9 Safety Group describes this as “concerning” and says it is “actively looking at the causes to determine what other intervention measures may be appropriate to further improve safety on the route”.
A spokesperson for the A9 Safety Group said: “These most recent figures continue to demonstrate that driver behaviour on the A9 between Dunblane and Inverness has significantly improved since the introduction of average speed cameras.
“This technology continues to be the most effective measure in terms of ensuring compliance with the speed limit, with the A9 system delivering compliance levels in excess of 99.96%.
“Despite rising traffic volumes the recorded number of incidents has continued to drop as well as the impact of these incidents in respect to closures and restrictions on the route. This has resulted in improved journey time reliability between Dunblane and Inverness.
“Whilst the (casualty) figures are encouraging, we will continue to monitor the route over the coming months and years to build upon these early results.”
Picture credit: Aaron Sneddon