The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) in Scotland has welcomed a reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured at safety camera sites following camera enforcement, but is concerned that some drivers are still not heeding the safety messages at 40-, 50- and 60mph locations.
Scotland’s Chief Statistician today announced the publication of Key Scottish Safety Camera Programme Statistics, 2011, which contains figures related to road casualties and offences at safety camera sites (fixed and mobile speed cameras and red-light cameras).
The publication reveals that the average number of people killed or seriously injured per year at all safety camera sites has decreased by 68 per cent when comparing the most recent three-year average (2009-2011) with the baseline* three-year average. This is a reduction in the average number of people killed or seriously injured from 337 to 108 per year.
For mobile speed camera sites, there has been a reduction in the percentage of vehicles exceeding the speed limit in all speed limit categories (30-, 40-, 50-, 60- and 70mph sites).
However, for fixed speed cameras, while there has been a reduction in the percentage of vehicles exceeding the speed limit at 30mph sites (a large reduction from 45 per cent to 14 per cent) and 70mph sites (down from 33 per cent to 26 per cent), there has been an increase at 40mph sites (up from 18 per cent to 22 per cent), 50mph sites (up from 25 per cent to 27 per cent) and 60mph sites (up from 12 per cent to 17 per cent).
Kathleen Braidwood, road safety officer for RoSPA Scotland, said: “The use of cameras is part of a comprehensive strategy to prevent road accidents across Scotland, and we welcome the publication of figures that show reductions in the number of people killed or seriously injured at camera sites.
“However, it is really disappointing that there has been a percentage increase in vehicles exceeding the speed limit at 40-, 50- and 60mph fixed camera sites, particularly because in Scotland we have so many rural roads that carry these speed limits.
“We know that three out of four road fatalities happen on rural roads. In Scotland, we really need to think about how we are driving on these roads, taking into account the constantly changing environment and what an appropriate speed is for rural roads. Safer driving on rural roads means not just travelling within the legal limit, but also travelling at an appropriate speed for the conditions.”
RoSPA has produced tips for drivers who find it difficult to stay within speed limits. The safety charity also has advice and information on rural road safety.
*Safety camera partnerships in Scotland have been required to collect road casualty data at proposed camera sites for a three-year period before camera enforcement. These figures are used to produce the “baseline”. Due to the different enforcement periods of cameras throughout Scotland, the baseline data for all cameras do not come from the same period.