Average-speed cameras, which compare the time at which vehicles pass two separate points on a stretch of road to enable the average speed to be calculated to determine if drivers are breaking the speed limit, are now being deployed in the Greater Manchester suburbs.
Typically used on motorways and major trunk roads, the Manchester Evening News says that it is the first time such a camera has been used on a non-motorway route in the metropolitan area.
Its report of the installation of cameras at Victoria Avenue, Blackley, describes them as “the scourge of the motorway motorist” – although we feel that might be better expressed as “the scourge of the law-breaking motorway motorist.”
The newspaper says that the stretch of road where the cameras have been installed is known to be a blackspot for accidents, with four people killed and another eight suffering serious injuries in a total of 46 incidents there between 2005 and 2009.
According to DriveSafe, Greater Manchester’s casualty reduction partnership, which is behind the initiative, speeding is often the cause of accidents on the road, which carries a speed limit of 30mph.
DriveSafe spokeswomen Karen Delaney told the Manchester Evening News: “Blackley has received a large amount of negative press coverage over the years as a result of speeding and understandably, there is growing community concern about speeding traffic and aggressive driving.”
She continued: “Traditional safety cameras are very effective at reducing speed, but roads such as this, which have a high level of speed-induced collisions, have huge potential to benefit from these new cameras and we are confident that the device will encourage lower speeds, discourage overtaking and reduce collisions.”
Adrian Tink of the RAC also backed the move, telling the newspaper: “If the road in Manchester has a history of accidents that are speed-related, then clearly something has to be done.
He added: “Average cameras are more desirable than static cameras. They do enforce a penalty, but they encourage drivers to moderate their speed over a period of time, keep traffic moving and avoid shunting accidents.”
The cameras use number plate recognition software to identify vehicle details, filming them as they enter and leave the controlled zone, with details of drivers who have been caught speeding passed on to the police.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.