Speed cameras double in three years

average speed cameras

Published on 3 June 2016 by Robert Drane

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Filed under Category: Campaigning

The amount of road covered by average speed cameras has doubled since 2013 - but that doesn’t matter to us because they don’t catch bikes…right?

There are now 50 locations of permanent average speed cameras according to the RAC Foundation. Ranging from just a quarter of a mile to a whole 99 miles on the A9, they cover a total 255 miles - up from the 127 miles of 2013 and that is without even including the temporary average speed cameras often in place for roadworks.

The increase has been driven by positive reception and lower cost of technology. A system that would cost a whopping £1.5 million per mile in the early 2000s is now £100,000 per mile today. Furthermore, many older cameras still operate with 35mm film. When these are replaced, average speed cameras are frequently chosen as an appropriate replacement.

Among similar reports throughout the years, the Daily Express reported back in 2010 that average speed cameras are unable to detect motorcyclists and that other motorists therefore ‘accused the Government of running a revenue-raising “scam”’. Both claims have been denounced numerous times and, while we still await the publication of the impact this latest surge of cameras have had on road safety, Transport Scotland say they have observed a decrease against the average rate of deaths on the A9 during the 99-mile-long system’s first year.

So can you really dodge average speed cameras with your bike? As we all know, the myth is untrue. While many think that bikes are immune to the cameras because they do not have forward-facing number plates, many systems employ rear facing cameras just for that purpose.

Twelve average speed cameras systems were installed in 2015 and more will no doubt be built this year. What is your opinion of them? Tell us on our Facebook page.

Main image: average speed cameras on the A2. Image cropped and scaled to size. © Copyright Rossographer and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic licence.