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.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.