‘Unpredictable visibility’ can increase camera deterrent effect

08.33 | 9 December 2020 | | 3 comments

Many drivers ignore posted speed limits with impunity, and to combat this people need to believe enforcement is ‘any time, any place, anywhere’.

That’s the view of Emma Kelly from Road Safety Support, as expressed in a keynote presentation delivered as part of the 2020 Festival of Road Safety. 

Emma Kelly’s presentation outlined a new enforcement strategy for speed cameras, called Raising the game’, published recently by Road Safety Support (RSS).

Emma said the new strategy was prompted by concerns at RSS about the UK’s stagnating KSI figures. It focuses specifically on speed cameras and the role they can play in helping to reduce road deaths and casualties.

Emma explained that enforcement, and the integration of speed management to reduce casualties, forms part of the ‘Safe System’ methodology.

She went on to outline how ‘unpredictable visibility’ can increase the deterrent effect among drivers.

“We know that wide area enforcement works,” she said, going on to reference a pilot scheme in Cumbria which resulted in a 30% reduction in KSI casualties over an 18-month period.

Talking of the importance of effective communications she said that ‘while we are winning the war in the law courts, we are not winning the war online, or on the roads’.

She said that while they may not like it, most drivers perceive enforcement as fair ‘if they know about it in advance’.

However, she added that the credibility of camera enforcement requires special attention. Enforcement programmes, she said, need to be set out clearly to ensure they receive public acceptance, which can also be helped by setting ‘credible’ speed limits.

The RSS report recommends that police forces and camera partnerships develop  a ‘long-term, stepped or layered enforcement strategy’, including a flexible and random approach to mobile enforcement and the use of covert enforcement.

Emma Kelly’s full presentation can be viewed on the Festival of Road Safety website catch up service (scroll down to Thursday 26 Nov).



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    Hugh – perhaps if there were a higher chance of detection the drivers you talk about might focus more strongly on their surroundings to the general gain of road safety.

    Paul Luton, Teddington
    Agree (4) | Disagree (0)

    I’d agree almost entirely with Hugh, however I’m sure he’s aware that someone performing a speed check will have checked a vehicle speed, and possibly moved onto the next vehicle before the driver of the first vehicle has even realised.

    > Emma said the new strategy was prompted by concerns at RSS about the UK’s stagnating KSI figures

    No, the current strategy of promoting the stagnation of driving standards is ultimately what’s behind the stagnation in KSI figures.

    David Weston, Newcastle upon Tyne
    Agree (4) | Disagree (1)

    I’m not convinced that all those who break the speed limit do so because of a perceived low risk of detection, I think they are so oblivious to their surroundings and to the task in hand – i.e. driving a motor vehicle – that it doesn’t enter their head to check the limit, let alone make a point of actually complying with it. It’s for the same reason that so many do get caught ..they are oblivious to the following police car; the officer on the roadside up ahead wearing a hi-viz pointing a speed gun at them; speed camera warning signs; fixed speed cameras; mobile cameras etc.etc. If they’re oblivious to speed limit signs and obvious means of monitoring and detection, what else are they oblivious to? pedestrians? cyclists? other vehicles?

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
    Agree (6) | Disagree (3)

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