Shropshire Star

How average speed cameras schemes have already made 'killer roads' safer

One area where average speed cameras have already made a difference is on the A449 – a pilot scheme funded by West Mercia's Police and Crime Commissioner.

An average speed camera

The 50mph dual carriageway between Hartlebury and Ombersley, in Worcestershire, was known as a 'killer road' with locals, with a number of fatalities and serious injuries in recent years.

Crime Commissioner John Campion agreed to put average speed cameras in on the route last November in partnership with Worcestershire County Council, and the first six months of the scheme being live have seen around 4,000 drivers caught breaking the limit.

The system was put in by Jenoptik Traffic Solutions – responsible for around 200 of the schemes across the UK.

The firm's deputy managing director, Geoff Collins, said that average speed cameras had been successful because of their ability to change driver behaviour along a stretch of road – rather than at a single point as with traditional individual speed cameras.

Mr Collins said that on average there is a 50 per cent reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured on stretches where the average speed cameras are brought in.

He said: "The reason they tend to be used on the roads they are is they have a profound impact on driver behaviour for the length of the monitored zone."

He added: "The old behaviour that people are familiar with is that someone will slow down at the location of a camera but 500 metres after has no impact at all."

Mr Collins said that the impact of the cameras was a "vitruous circle", with more consistent speeds leading to better flow along the routes and less congestion, and a reduction of the severity of any crashes that do happen because of the slower speed.

The biggest section covered by average speed cameras in the UK is the A9 in Scotland at around 200km, with the shortest being just a couple of hundred metres at Tower Bridge in London.

Mr Collins said: "If you have a road which has issues then it pretty much seems to be whatever length you apply it to you change the behaviour throughout.

He added: "There is a perception along the route, that is borne out by the data that people modify their behaviour."

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