Scotland set for more speed cameras
6th December 2006 | back to article listings BACK send this article to a friend via email SEND TO A FRIEND print this article PRINT

A new system of cameras on a number of Scotland's most dangerous roads is at the forefront of a new Scottish transport blueprint, according to reports.

Rather than penalising drivers for reaching high speeds at a particular point, the new network of cameras, known as the Speed Enforcement Camera System (Specs), take an average of the motorist's speed along a number of half-mile sections of road.

Their widespread use is expected in the country before long and they are being touted as an improvement on the much-maligned speed cameras currently in use throughout the UK.

During the first six months following the trial of Specs along a 29-mile stretch of the A77 in Ayrshire, there was just one serious injury and no deaths compared to an average of 11.5 serious incidents during each six-month period between 2000 and 2004.

Police forces claim that the new system has dramatically cut the number of people speeding just 49 drivers have faced charges since the August, well down on previous figures.

Inspector Gordon Fulton, the unit commander for road policing in Ayrshire, told the Scotsman: "These figures are absolutely brilliant.

"I thought there would be more offenders, despite all the publicity and road signs, but I am pleasantly surprised. It has been fantastic."

Neil Greig, the head of policy at the AA in Scotland, added to the publication: "There is no doubt drivers think the system is impossible to fool and are changing their behaviour because they believe they will get caught."

It is thought that the system is will be put forward for other Scottish roads with high injury and death rates, including the A9 between Inverness and Perth.

However, the new proposals have not met with unanimous approval, with some groups stating that cameras are only part of the battle.

"Speed is only one element of road safety. Other approaches are important too, such as improving road and junction layouts and clearer signs," Edmund King, the executive director at the RAC, told the newspaper.

Futhermore, a spokesman for the Association of British Drivers, told the BBC that the changes could make some stretches of road more dangerous, as motorists would be concentrating more on their average speed rather than the cars around them.

The cameras have been used extensively along stretches of road works in Scotland in recent months in an attempt to keep highway workers and motorists safe.