A county councillor is celebrating the installation of average speed cameras on a busy A road in Cornwall, saying the success of his long campaign to introduce the enforcement should make his village a safer place.
Cllr Peter Williams represents an area including the village Perranarworthal on the A39, which has been plagued by speeding cars, lorries and motorbikes for years, who ignore the 30 mph limit, with some vehicles spotted driving in excess of twice that speed. Multiple lives have been lost with many more people injured on the stretch of road linking the county town of Truro with Falmouth on the county’s south coast.
The average speed camera scheme marks the 250th installation of a Jenoptik SPECS scheme in the UK, as it becomes the go-to standard for fair and cost-effective enforcement on roads across the country. The technology uses highly accurate Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras to monitor the number plates of vehicles as they pass fixed points on the road, then calculates the time taken compared with how long it should take if the vehicle was driving at the speed limit. Vehicles taking less time can therefore be shown to be going too fast. Independent analysis comparing accident data before and after installation of the technology on roads proves that Fatal and Serious Collisions is reduced by 50%.
“Road safety has been one of my key priorities as Cornwall Councillor for Perranarworthal and I am pleased to have delivered on this for not only the people I represent but also everyone who uses this busy route between Truro and Falmouth,” commented Cllr Williams. “Thank you to the numerous people and organisations who have worked with me to make this happen over the past few years – it has been a long road to good outcome, and I hope this will make where we live a safer place.”
The landmark installation of the 250th permanent SPECS site illustrates how the use of average speed enforcement has grown over the years. The technology was invented and first used by Jenoptik UK under its old name of Speed Check Services in Nottingham in 2000 and it took 17 years for the first hundred to be installed. The company celebrated its 200th scheme in May 2021 and has installed another 50 in a little over 18 months.
“After years of carrying out Community Speed Watch and using mobile speed camera signs to help us educate drivers, these cameras will now provide constant monitoring along this section of the A39,” explained Vision Zero South West Partnership Manager Natalie Warr in a joint statement with Devon and Cornwall Police’s Head of Road Safety Adrian Leisk. “Drivers travelling over the speed threshold will receive a notice of intended prosecution with either an educational course, points and a fine or even court appearance as the outcome. We urge drivers to take more care and respect the limits in place.”
“SPECS was initially Home Office Type-Approved in 1999 but required cabled fibre-optic networks between a pair of remote cameras and the roadside servers, with the Police having to collect data from on-site portable drives each week,” explained Jenoptik Account Manager Timo Thornton. “This meant very high installation costs and a correspondingly low number of schemes being installed in the early years of the company. Since then, we have developed the technology dramatically over the years and the current SPECS3 VECTOR+ camera does the ANPR processing in the camera head, with the data transferred by 4G back to the police control office. Not only does that cut comms costs, but the equipment is light enough to be attached to existing street furniture where required, meaning installation costs are so much more cost-effective that we now regularly install as many schemes in a month as we used to in a year.
“Average speed cameras don’t just save lives,” he added. “They are also shown to lead to reduced emissions – meaning better air quality – and they have the support of drivers, with anecdotal evidence suggesting average speed schemes are far more accepted and popular than spot-speed solutions. Jenoptik is far and away the leading supplier of average speed enforcement solutions in the UK – we are the go-to supplier because we really understand how to deliver them, and in the process create safer, smoother, greener and fairer roads.”
(Picture – Jenoptik)