Average speed cameras eliminate collisions and transform behavior on Scottish urban road


The partners working for the Scottish Safety Camera Program are hailing the success of the country’s first urban average speed camera (ASC) system, which has been operating in Edinburgh for the last year.

The program partners have highlighted figures that show that there has been a significant improvement in driver behavior and speed limit compliance since the urban ASC system went live on Edinburgh’s Old Dalkeith Road one year ago.

Since the ASC system went live on the route there are on average only two offences recorded per day. This is a significant improvement in driver behavior, considering three in every five vehicles (60%) were speeding prior to the installation of the ASC enforcement. In addition, during the last year there have been no injury collisions reported on Old Dalkeith Road within the area covered by the ASC equipment.

Jenoptik’s SPECS3 VECTOR system was introduced in September 2017 to improve road safety on the route, reduce the number of collisions, and encourage motorists to drive within the posted speed limit. The SPECS3 point-to-point (P2P) average speed enforcement system uses intelligent ALPR (automatic license plate recognition) cameras at each end of the monitored route. The VECTOR cameras are equipped with 3.2MP mono (ANPR) and 3.2MP color (Context) image sensors, remote control motorized zoom, and focus lenses. Up to two lanes can be covered per camera, same direction or bi-directional, and front or rear facing.

“It’s clear after the first full year of operation that the system has encouraged a significant change in driver behavior and I would like to personally thank all the drivers who use this route for considering their driving manner and helping to make the road much safer,” noted Inspector Vincent Fisher, Police Scotland’s East Safety Camera Unit manager.

“Prior to the cameras being installed, less than 40% of the 15,000 vehicles a day that use the road were adhering to the speed limit. We now find that on average, speeding offenders have been reduced to only two per day and in the last year nobody has been injured on the section of Old Dalkeith Road covered by the system.”

Head of the Scottish Safety Camera Program Steven Feeney commented, “These findings add to the compelling evidence that average speed cameras help to transform driver behavior. This encouraging improvement in speed limit compliance along this section of Old Dalkeith Road is a step toward achieving safer road travel, reducing the number of serious injuries, and moving toward an ultimate vision of zero fatalities on our road network.”

Jenoptik Traffic Solutions director Geoff Collins said, “SPECS Average Speed Cameras have a proven record in improving safety on 350km (217.5 miles) of Scottish strategic roads, but this is further evidence that lower speed limit, urban routes are also dramatically safer for residents and road users alike where ASC are operated.”

The City of Edinburgh Council’s transport and environment convener, Councilor Lesley Macinnes, added, “These figures are extremely encouraging and demonstrate a real change in driver behavior as a result of the Average Speed Camera system on Old Dalkeith Road.” 

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).