A busy road with roadworks

Study shows average speed cameras cut worst crashes

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The use of average speed cameras on Britain's roads has been found to cut the number of crashes resulting in death or serious injury by more than a third.

New research carried out by Road Safety Analysis for the RAC Foundation shows that the number of fatal and serious collisions decreases by 36% after average speed cameras are introduced.

Motorway on a sunny dayThe average reduction in personal injury collisions of all severities was less pronounced, at 16%, but the researchers classified both results as "highly statistically significant" which means that they almost certainly did not arise by chance or through random variation.

By the end of 2015 there were at least 50 stretches of road in Great Britain permanently covered by average speed cameras, adding up to a total length of 255 miles. Average speed cameras are also often used on a temporary basis to manage traffic through roadworks, but these were not included in the study.

The RAC Foundation noted that the installation costs of permanent average speed cameras have fallen to around £100,000 per mile from as much as £1.5m per mile in the early 2000s.

As a result, local authorities are increasingly turning to average speed cameras, sometimes to replace older spot speed cameras as they come to the end of their operating lives.

Commenting on the study findings, Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

"All the indications are that compliance with average speed cameras is high; now this research reveals the sizeable impact they can have in reducing death and serious injuries.

"As the cost of technology continues to fall, more and more authorities are considering whether to install average speed cameras and so it will be important to ensure that casualty and compliance data is openly available so we can continue to assess and understand the road safety benefits they deliver."

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