Average Speed Cameras
Average speed cameras help to make roads safer by encouraging drivers to maintain a consistent speed.
Average Speed Cameras are one example of new Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). The information collected by the cameras is used to make our roads safer.
Average speed camera systems measure a vehicle’s average speed from point to point along a length of a route. They can be used to manage vehicle speeds over sections as short as 200m, or over the entire length of a route.
Roadworks can prove a dangerous working environment for contractors, with drivers having to react to contraflows, narrow lanes and changes in road layout. The operational safety of the site is enhanced when speed limits are reduced.
How do average speed cameras work?
These systems operate using automatic digital technology. Cameras are mounted on columns at the side of the road. By placing the cameras at certain points, the speed of vehicles can be monitored throughout the traffic management area. Each pair of cameras consists of two digital video cameras, linked by cable or radio wave. The cameras act as a speed controlled zone with groups of cameras linked to create a speed controlled network.
The video cameras continuously capture images of vehicles. The number plates are read using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and the average speed of the vehicle is calculated between the two cameras. If this exceeds the speed limit, an offence record is created.
Have average speed cameras worked?
An average speed camera system was installed on a 32 mile stretch of the A77 in July 2005 in a pilot project. The SPECS speed camera system was used. Analysis has indicated a considerable speed reduction throughout the route and very few speeding offenders. Transport Scotland published the crash data for the first four years of operation within the SPECS zone and the figures indicate a significant reduction in casualties within the area. The number of people being killed or seriously injured in accidents has been halved since the SPECS system was implemented, whilst all injury accidents have reduced by 46%.
Average annual fatal casualties have been reduced by 60% and seriously injuries by 40%. This means that in the four years since implementation around 16 people have avoided serious injury or their lives have been saved.
SPECS was used for the first time as part of road works in Scotland on the M74 Raith Interchange scheme from February until June 2006. It has been used in many roadworks sites since 2006, most recently on the M80 Stepps to Haggs improvement scheme.