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Speed Limits: Cameras

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate what average reduction in speed results from the use of (a) a visible police patrol and (b) SPECS cameras. (139627)

This specific information is not available. TRL Report 637, “How Methods and Levels of Policing Affect Road Casualty Rates”, prepared for Transport for London in 2005, reviewed the findings from literature around the world. They concluded that speed cameras had proved to be particularly effective enforcement tools and appear to be more effective than physical policing methods in reducing mean speeds and accidents. However, the report did not specifically look at time over distance cameras. It also highlighted that physical policing methods have still been found to be effective and the effects of speed cameras appear to be mainly limited to the camera site.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate the number of film speed cameras which will be converted to digital in each of the next five years. (139633)

It is not possible to estimate this. Safety cameras are managed locally by road safety partnerships as part of their wider road safety remit and, in accordance with DfT Circular 01/2007, highway authorities and police forces have the freedom to deploy type-approved cameras without Government approval.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of speeding infringements which were detected by (a) fixed speed cameras, (b) mobile speed cameras, (c) SPECS cameras and (d) police enforcement in the latest period for which figures are available. (139634)

The information is not held in the form requested. The total number of speeding offences recorded in ‘Home Office Motoring Offences and Breath Test Statistics for England and Wales 2004’ was 2,104,800. Safety cameras provided evidence in 1,913,700, or 91 per cent. of these cases.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) fixed speed cameras, (b) mobile speed cameras, (c) SPECS speed cameras and (d) police enforcement teams were in operation in each year since 1997. (139635)

The Department only holds information about the number of safety camera sites operating within the national safety camera programme for England and Wales over the period 2000-06. The following table, which is published on the Department’s website, shows the number of camera sites in place by type during the lifetime of the national programme:

Camera type

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

12006

Fixed

1,295

1,479

1,733

2,036

2,303

2,469

2,544

Mobile

173

281

1,002

1,739

1,981

2,279

2,373

Red-light

464

483

505

539

556

600 |

600

RL-Speed

2

2

2

2

3

3

3

Route

0

0

1

4

6

6

27

Time over distance

1

2

10

10

14

14

15

Total

1,935

2,247

3,253

4,330

4,863

5,371

5,562

1 the number of camera sites in the national programme as at 30 March 2007.

The following table shows the number of full-time equivalent traffic police officers in England and Wales over the period 1998-99 to 2005-06 for which information is available:

Number of officers1

1998-99

7,525

1999-2000

7,238

2000-01

7,005

2002-03

6,902

2003-04

6,706

2004-05

7,104

2005-06

6,511

1 complete information not available for 2001-02

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average (a) capital cost and (b) annual running costs were of (i) fixed speed cameras and (ii) vehicle activated speed indicating devices in the latest period for which figures are available. (139636)

The Department does not hold this information. The implementation cost of these measures will vary depending on the location and nature of individual sites. The annual operating costs would also reflect that the two measures are used in different circumstances with cameras used to enforce speed limits and reduce excessive speeds, and vehicle activated signs to warn drivers of inappropriate speed on the approach to isolated hazards.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate the reduction in accidents resulting from the installation of (a) fixed speed cameras and (b) vehicle activated speed indicating devices in each of the five years following installation. (139637)

The information is not held in the form requested. The four-year independent evaluation report of the National Safety Camera Programme, published in December 2005 and covering the period 2000 to 2004, found that there had been a 49 per cent. reduction in killed and seriously injured accidents and a 23 per cent. reduction in personal injury collisions at all fixed camera sites. More specifically there had been reductions of 62 per cent. and 33 per cent. respectively at rural fixed speed camera sites. Transport Research Laboratory Report 548 “Vehicle-activated signs—a large scale evaluation”, published in 2002, found there was a 58 per cent. reduction in personal injury accidents across rural sites where vehicle activated speed limit roundel indication signs were used.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many vehicle activated speed indicating devices were in operation in each of the last five years; and how many he expects to be in operation in each of the next five years. (139638)

The Department does not keep a record of how many vehicle activated signs are in operation. The decision on when and where to place vehicle activated signs is a matter for local traffic authorities as they are best placed to understand local needs and conditions.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate the average reduction in speed which results from the installation of (a) a fixed speed camera and (b) a vehicle activated speed indicating device in each of the five years following installation. (139639)

The information is not held in the form requested. The four-year independent evaluation report of the National Safety Camera Programme, published in December 2005 and covering the period 2000 to 2004, found that there had been an average 5.3mph reduction in average speed at all fixed camera sites and rural fixed camera sites. Transport Research Laboratory Report 548 ‘Vehicle-activated signs—a large scale evaluation’, published in 2002, found there was an average reduction of 3-9mph across rural sites where vehicle activated speed limit roundel indication signs were used.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which criteria are used when deciding whether fixed speed cameras should be installed. (139640)

On 31 January the Department issued new guidance on the deployment of speed and red light cameras (DfT Circular 01/2007). The guidance was placed in the Library of the House and is also available on the Department's website. This came into effect on 1 April 2007 and provides greater freedom and flexibility on the deployment of cameras in response to community concerns about speeding or at locations where there are speeding problems and a high risk that casualties will occur. The guidance highlights how the previous site selection criteria under the national safety camera programme was shown to reduce speeds and casualties at camera sites. However in view of the local needs and accountability, the guidance is not prescriptive on criteria or intervention levels and recommends that locally agreed deployment criteria are developed.