Deaths and serious injuries at speed camera locations in Scotland have reduced by 56% compared to the period before their installation.
That is perhaps the most striking finding contained within statistics just released by the Scottish Government. An official statistics bulletin published by the administration looks at the statistics relating to Scotland’s speed camera programme over a 10 year period and appears to provide compelling evidence that cameras have played a significant role in reducing the country’s road death toll.
The 56% figure equates to a reduction in the average number of people killed or seriously injured from 370 to 163 per year.
The bulletin says the average number of personal injury accidents (including fatal and serious accidents), per year, at all camera sites has decreased by 39 per cent when comparing the most recent 3-year average with the baseline 3-year average. This is a reduction in the average number of personal injury accidents from 1,170 to 710 per year.
The largest actual change is at mobile camera sites where the average number of personal injury accidents has fallen from 672 to 403 per year (-40%). The largest proportional change has been at red-light camera sites where the average number of personal injury accidents has fallen by 48 per cent, from 119 to 62 per year.
The running costs of the Scottish Safety Camera Programme are now covered by an annual grant from the Scottish Government, which far exceeds the amount of fixed penalty notices paid each year. In the financial year 2008/09 the grant paid to the eight partnershipsoperating the programme totalled £6.4 million. In the same period, penalty notices issued by the partnerships totalled £4.2 million, of which £3.6 million were paid.
Unlike south of the border, funding for speed cameras in Scotland is effectively ring-fenced. The budget is adminstered centrally, so that it cannot be spent on anything other than speed camera projects, Jim Dale, the director of the Scottish Safety Camera Programme told road.cc. Consequently, unlike in various parts of England, there is no possiblity of any cameras being switched off north of the border.