Average speed cameras ‘have their place’

12.00 | 1 June 2016 | | 7 comments

Iain Temperton, Road Safety GB’s director of communications, last week (31 May) featured on BBC Radio 2 as part a debate about average speed cameras.

Appearing on the Jeremy Vine show (being guest presented by Vanessa Feltz), he affirmed his and Road Safety GB’s support for the deployment of average speed cameras, in the right circumstances.

He featured alongside Claire Armstrong from Safe Speed who has been campaigning for many years to scrap speed cameras.

The programme was prompted by new research carried out for the RAC Foundation (also published on 31 May) which revealed that more than 250 miles of roads in Great Britain are now being monitored by average speed cameras.

Iain Temperton (left) said local authorities look to “pick the right tools to do the right jobs” when it comes to improving the safety of roads and road users, adding that some stretches of road would “absolutely benefit” from an average speed system.

Iain, who is also team manager of casualty reduction at Norfolk County Council, said: “Cameras are only part of the toolbox, every local authority or constabulary is going to use whichever tool. We have a robust policing system, we have community speed watch, we have fixed cameras, we have average cameras.

“It’s not one or the other, it is a complete mix of interventions using whichever one works either for that particular type of road user or that particular geography.

“We’re not going to say it’s (average speed cameras) the answer to everything – and it’s not the instant response that we move to, because they are an expensive system to install – but they certainly have their place.”

Click here to listen on catch up (available until 30 June 2016). Speed camera feature starts at appoximately 34.00.


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    Average cameras might have their place through towns but when they’re placed on dual carriageways and the posted speed is ridiculously low like the 40mph currently on the M20 approaching Dover, it’s just a complete scandal.

    Howard Millichap, St.Leonards on sea
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    Where they are suitable is where risk and non-compliance is highest. Unfortunately this means urban roads where an observant driver is far more important than a speed compliant one.

    steve, watford
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    I for one would welcome a less Orwellian world with more real people (Police) being able to judge traffic conditions, time of day and driver behaviour. I pass through 8 speed cameras on my daily commute, 4 to 6 more if you include buslane and junction cameras. Unfortunately all to often (most of the time) at managed motorways and roadworks there is no congestion or any sign of workmen and yet arbitrary limits are set with heavy automated inforcement in place. If the authorities state congestion and queue ahead when in reality it cleared an hour previously it degrades peoples trust in those authorities and therefore the laws that they set. I think the story of the boy who cried wolf comes to mind and should be reread by some people in authority.

    Steve Armstrong, Halifax UK.
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    In the latest issue of Intelligent Instructor there is a small article which is interesting and illuminating. It gives stats of motoring offences detected and makes comparisons 2004 to 2013. For example there appears to be a sharp drop in such as will be seen, and that there may be a link between the numbers of offences detected and the mentioned reduction in the specialist traffic department of the police. It states that in 2004 4.3 million drivers received fixed penalty notifications. However in 2013, 9 years later, that number had reduced to a mere 1.6 million. It therefore remarks that this coincided with a reduced traffic force. In 2005 there were 7104 dedicated traffic officers and in 2014 it had dropped to 4365 and has fallen still further though no figure has been given. The Transport Committee, who want more average speed cameras, say that 90% of Fixed Penalty Notices for speeding were camera detected and therefore not police personnel. So it looks like technology caused the decline in traffic police officers and now with so few left there is a call in certain quarters for more technology to fill that void.

    R.Craven Blackpool
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    Rod, smaller doesn’t necessarily mean less robust. A smaller, more efficient police force may be more robust than a larger less efficient force. Where public money is being spent we need to concentrate on efficiency rather than size. Have you ever seen incontrovertible evidence that KSI numbers are inversely proportional to police force size?

    Charles, England
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    Your comment that “We have a robust policing system” seems to contradict the other recent article which reports that “The number of full-time roads policing officers in England and Wales has fallen by 27% since 2010, according to data published by the RAC.”

    Rod King, Cheshire, 20’s Plenty for Us
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    I join with Iain Temperton and Road Safety GB in supporting “the deployment of average speed cameras, in the right circumstances”. The question is: “what are ‘the right circumstances’?”

    The answer is: “where each system is installed into a randomly selected route out of 2 suitable routes.”

    This is called an RCT scientific trial and it will automatically and accurately determine what effect the average speed camera system has on deaths and serious injuries (or any other factor that is measurable).

    Dave Finney, Slough
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