There’s a major change in the thinking behind getting people to stick to 20 mile per hour speed limits as a city turns from engineering solutions to technology.
Traditionally the thinking among traffic engineers and the police is that 20 mph-limit roads should be managed using interventions such as speed humps and traffic islands, but a network in Plymouth will become safer through the use of a series of average and spot speed camera enforcement.
The roads had the speed limit enforced to crack down on so-called boy racers antisocially driving at speed in cars with loud exhausts in narrow roads in a residential area of the city. Residents did not want speed humps on their narrow streets so the camera solution was therefore chosen instead.
The project was turned around extremely quickly – just four weeks after an initial meeting between the road safety partnership Vision Zero South West and speed camera solutions provider Jenoptik, the terms of the scheme were agreed with a spot speed camera covering a short stretch of road, and average speed cameras along the rest of the 20 mile per hour route. This innovative approach combined the best attributes of both Average Speed Cameras, controlling flows over a long section of road as well as Spot Speed, addressing a very localised area.
The new camera installations not only enforce the limits without inconveniencing law-abiding drivers – unlike speed humps – but also are better for the environment because they reduce the numbers of drivers slowing down and speeding up, keeping people at a uniform speed. Residents benefit from reductions in speed, noise, vibration and emissions, making the environment better and hopefully encouraging more active travel.
“SPECS cameras have been used to enforce 20mph limits for many years now, but a lack of awareness and high cost limited their application,” said Product Manager Timo Thornton. “The latest generation of cameras are not only cost effective, but deliver a host of benefits that residents are crying out for.”
Initial testing showed how vital the cameras are, with more than a hundred offences per hour during the testing period. This is therefore seen as a pilot site for the region and could lead to enforcement of other 20 mile per hour zones across the south west and is can be considered a particular success because it delivered what residents requested.
(Picture – Jenoptik)