New driving law: Campaigners say more average speed cameras would be ‘very effective’

Gloucestershire police trial new long range speed cameras

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The RAC says cameras would be “very effective” at reducing speeds and could help with “controlling traffic flow”. These cameras are used on a number of A-roads but are not widely installed on motorways.

Currently, the average cameras are only used in sections that have roadworks or temporary restrictions.

However, new analysis from the RAC Report on Motoring found more than half would like to see them introduced more generally along the motorway network.

The average cameras measure speeds between two different cameras rather than at a single location like traditional enforcement tools.

A total of 58 percent of drivers surveyed for the report said average speed cameras would be the best method for ensuring compliance on high-speed roads.

Meanwhile, just 18 percent said this could be achieved when fixed speed cameras were installed.

More than half of drivers said they would like to see average cameras to encore 70mph limits with just a quarter disagreeing.

A total of 46 percent said average speed cameras were the preferred choice of enforcement for 40-50mph roads.

RAC road safety spokesman Simon Williams said average speed cameras would be “fairer” than traditional cameras.

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This is because road users would not be instantly punished for a “momentary transgression” when behind the wheel.

He said: “We believe drivers see these cameras as being very effective at reducing speeds over longer distances and controlling traffic flow as well as being fairer than fixed position ones as they aren’t instantly punished for a momentary transgression.

“Our research shows speed limit compliance on all types of road has improved on previous years.

“But as our study was carried out during the pandemic we suspect this has partly been brought about by the reduction in the number of journeys carried out for the purposes of commuting – or for other business purposes – where drivers feel greater time pressure and may be more tempted to break the law by speeding.”

Despite the calls for more stringent measures, the report found a worrying number of road users were still regularly speeding.

The RAC says more than half of drivers admit to breaking the speed limit on motorways

One third said they have travelled at speeds over 80mph with three percent travelling over 100mph.

Most drivers said they broke speed rules because they were following the example set by other road users.

However, almost one third said they thought it was safer to travel faster than 70mph.

He said: “Despite more than half of drivers admitting to regularly exceeding the 70 mph speed limit, road safety statistics clearly show that motorways are our safest roads.

“With so many motorists admitting to driving much faster than they should on the motorway, it was interesting to see such strong support for average speed cameras to be used more widely to enforce the 70 mph limit as opposed to just in roadworks, as is currently the case.”

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