Scotland’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has welcomed a reduction in the amount of people seriously injured or killed at safety camera sites. However, it’s concerned that some motorists aren’t heeding the safety messages in 40mph, 50mph and 60mph areas.
Earlier this week, the Chief Statistician of Scotland announced the publication of “Key Scottish Safety Camera Programme Statistics, 2011”. The publication contains figures related to road offences and casualties at safety camera sites – like mobile and fixed speed cameras and those at red lights. It reveals that the average number of people seriously injured or killed per year has decreased 68% at all safety camera sites compared to the most recent three-year average. This brings the number down from 337 to 108 a year.
Scottish safety camera partnerships have been required to collect road casualty data at camera sites for the three years before enforcing the equipment. These figures are used to produce a baseline for these statistics. Because of the different enforcement periods of cameras across the country, the baseline for all cameras doesn’t come from the same period.
The publication detailed that there has been a reduction in the percentage of vehicles exceeding the speed limit at mobile speed camera sites in all of the categories – 30mph, 40mph, 50mph, 60mph and 70mph. There has also been a reduction in the percentage of vehicles exceeding the speed limit at some fixed speed camera sites – 30mph areas saw a decline from 45% to 14%; and 70mph areas saw a fall from 33% to 26%. However, there has been an increase at other fixed speed camera sites – 40mph area saw an increase from 18% to 22%; 50mph areas saw a rise from 25% to 27%; and 60mph areas experienced a jump from 12% to 17%.
In the 2005-06 financial year, about 127,000 people were issued with a conditional offer for a fixed-penalty notice due to offences recorded on cameras. This figure dropped to about 73,000 in the 2010-11 financial year. However, this is about 10,000 more than the prior 12-month period, driven by new traffic-light cameras giving more coverage of existing sites, as well as temporary speed limits at major trunk road experiencing roadwork.
RoSPA road safety officer Kathleen Braidwood says that the use of cameras is part of an extensive strategy to avoid road incidents throughout Scotland. They welcome the publication of statistics that show a reduction in the number of people seriously injured or killed at camera sites. However, it’s disappointing that there’s been a rise in the percentage of vehicles surpassing the speed limit at 40mph, 50mph and 60mph fixed camera locations. This is especially disappointing because they have so many rural roads with these limits in the country.
Braidwood added that they know three out of four road deaths happen on rural roads. People really have to think about how they drive on these roads, and take into account the continuously changing environment and what an appropriate speed for rural roads is. Safer driving on these roads means travelling within the speed limit, as well as moving at an appropriate speed for environmental conditions.
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