Aug 2 2012 by Denis Brown, Blairgowrie Adv
EAST Perthshire’s drivers might not be fans but speed cameras appear to be putting the brakes on.
National figures just released indicate the efforts of agencies such as the Tayside Safety Camera Partnership (TSCP) are having a substantial impact on road carnage.
Published this week, the annual report on Key Scottish Safety Camera Statistics for 2011 show that previous trends in personal injury crash reduction are still alive and well.
Critically the figures show the number of people being killed or seriously injured at safety camera sites throughout Scotland over the past three years is almost 70 per cent lower than before enforcement.
Collisions resulting in vehicle occupant injuries have also fallen dramatically – by an average 1054 to 547, a reduction of 48 percent.
The Tayside operation has four mobile camera units operating at 23 key sites across Perth and Kinross, the locations of which – and fixed speed cameras – have been posted on the TSCP website since April 2010.
Each camera has a maximum range of up to 1km, although depending on the site’s perspective, the target capacity is normally between 500 to 600 metres.
Featuring all-round vision, the vans can track even the fastest moving motorbike and capture its number plate.
One of the highest crash risk stretches is the A93, specifically the Meikleour cross road with the Dunkeld to Coupar Angus road and adjacent to the famous beech hedge where the road surface is generally wet or damp.
Arron Duncan, TSCP manager, said the latest annual figures demonstrated how crucial a contribution the highly visible deterrent of cameras were continuing to have on improving driving behaviour.
“The report also highlights that four out of five people in Scotland support the use of safety cameras in helping
to make our roads safer,” he said.
Locations of speed cameras are no secret – already providing mobile speed cameras weekly locations on its website, TSCP last year started Tweeting the hot spots, making it even easier for lead foots to slow down.
But despite the operation-affirming statistics, Mr Duncan conceded changing driver behaviour was not easy.
He agreed that stubborn risk-taking motorists would simply slow down when approaching camera vans to avoid being detected and fined, then speed up again once clear.
“The idea behind what we do is a deterrent and encouraging people to slow down at sites that have a history of previous collisions and casualties where there’s evidence of speed being involved,” he said.
“So we’re there for a good reason and we do want people to know we’re there and why we’re there.
“We are totally transparent and if we were to go covert, people would complain that we’re just there to raise revenue, but we’re not, we’re there to reduce casualties.”
TSCP is a civilian police run agency and member of the Scottish Safety Camera Partnerships established in 2003 to tackle the disturbing number of crashes, deaths and injuries attributed to speeding motorists.
Mr Duncan added: “We want motorists to think about their driving and reduce their speed rather than detect them speeding.
“I would ask that all road users drive within the speed limit to help make the roads safer for all.”
Receive TSCP tweets by going to www.twitter.com and following: Tayside Safety Camera Partnership hash tag #safetayside