Road Safety News

Birmingham to reintroduce average speed cameras

Wednesday 15th June 2016

Average speed enforcement cameras are to be reintroduced in the Midlands in a bid to encourage drivers to adhere to the speed limit.

The cameras, which will be located across Birmingham and Solihull, will be switched on from 18 July.

Under the watchful eye of Birmingham City Council and Solihull Borough Council, they will be operational for a term of five years. An initial 21-month evaluation phase is to take place, assessing the effectiveness of the cameras, equipment and the overall system.

Latest figures show that in the years 2010-2014, there were 2,356 people killed or seriously injured in Birmingham and Solihull, an average of 471.2 per year.

Research for the RAC Foundation, published last month, revealed more than 250 miles of roads in Great Britain are now monitored by average speed cameras.

The plan to reintroduce camera speed enforcement on the roads of Birmingham and Solihull was formally agreed late last year. It is hoped that the initial pilot will help inform the wider efforts to make the region’s roads as safe as they can possibly be.

Councillor Stewart Stacey, Birmingham City Council, said: “Most people will see no impact to their overall journey time as this is all about enforcing speed limits that already exist on the roads in question – all of which are routes with a significant record for accidents historically.

“It will only be the minority who continually exceed the speed limit and endanger others who will be caught by our adoption of this new modern technology.”

Councillor Ted Richards, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, added: “This new digital technology will play a very important role in keeping the region’s roads safe.

“Thousands of people use the roads through Birmingham and Solihull every day and any work that local authorities can do to keep them safe is certainly positive.

“The cameras, and associated signs, are very noticeable; the only people being caught are those who choose to ignore them.”



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One of the major problems of slowing traffic down with the aid of whatever has yet to be identified. It may be a camera or road works or other method causing traffic to slow down but they also at a slower speed, particularly on motorways, they will bunch up closer together. That is the major problem. Without understanding full stopping distances drivers presume that as they are slower they can take up less road space and can be closer together. Like sheep really. Nose to tail. That is the increased danger that one would, or rather a safe driver would, try to avoid at all cost. Drivers do not know that at 70 mph they should be at least one marker post behind a leading vehicle. Any closer than that and they cannot guarantee stopping in a shorter distance and therefore they are breaking the law and tailgating. Understanding these safe distances would change a driver's attitude and understanding of danger and would make all drivers safer.
R.Craven Blackpool.

Agree (3) | Disagree (0)

Point taken but the fines pay for the cameras and as the fines go on and on and the initial cost of the camera is paid off the subsequent money is then used to put in more cameras which increases revenue and it becomes a self financing, self propagating project. Camera manufacturers, council employees (plus the very generous pension schemes) for years and years to come managing cameras. So redesigning the road to be safer is maybe in the long term a much cheaper option and may actually save more people the hassle or distress of an accident in the first place.
Steve Armstrong, Halifax UK.

Agree (1) | Disagree (3)

Leaving aside the fact that this is a story about speed cameras, what exactly is the 'issue with the design of the road' which we've all been 'dodging'?
Hugh Jones

Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

Hi Steve
I'm not in favour of draconian enforcement either and not defending speed cameras. Just correcting the mistake in your fines comment. Not obliged to respond on the entirety of your comment. Cheers.
Pat, Wales

Agree (7) | Disagree (0)

I think it's a wider issue, not just in traffic enforcement. The issue on the design of the road which I notice everyone commenting dodged in favour of defending draconian enforcement. Are we in favour of constant and intrusive monitoring of the daily lives of the general public "for their own good"? I would say its a slippery slope which needs careful attention.
Steve Armstrong, Halifax UK.

Agree (4) | Disagree (8)

To elaborate on Pat's comment and to clear up a long standing myth, all money from speeding fines, as with any traffic offence fines, has always gone to the government and has never gone to the councils nor the police. The partnerships, which comprise (amongst others), the police and councils, had to claim back - under scrutiny - the operational costs from the government.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (6) | Disagree (3)

Money from speed camera fines goes to the UK Government not the council or the police. Some comes back from government as a budget to run the cameras. The perceived "it's a cash generator" link to speed cameras was dis-connected when the regulations changed long ago in response to public demand.
Pat, Wales

Agree (8) | Disagree (4)

"these not achieve much due to much slower speeds caused by fear of ...prosecution". Well that's the whole idea actually and not a reason to criticise them - it would be like criticising roadside breathtests because all they do is detect and deter drink-driving.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (11) | Disagree (5)

With the recorded high number of accidents on this stretch of road, would it be more sensible to look at the causes of these accidents and address these issues in the design of the road?

The "catch all" solution of speed enforcement with a heavy burden of management and fines may make the council some money, but the real issue is getting from A to B as quickly and as safely as possible which from nearly everyone's experience these devices do not achieve due to much much slower speeds caused by fear of big brother and prosecution.
Steve Armstrong, Halifax UK.

Agree (7) | Disagree (12)

Dave, I have to agree, however I have yet to see evidence that an evidence-led approach actually works!
Peter City of Westminster

Agree (5) | Disagree (3)

It's a shame that Birmingham did not run their previous speed cameras within scientific trials, and that they aren't going to run their new speed cameras within such trials either. It took 20 years before the effect of fixed and mobile cameras were accurately determined and it would surely be wise to learn from previous mistakes.

We need to start installing average speed cameras within scientific trials. These trials are easy to run, they are the most accurate test available and they can be cheaper than producing estimates. Surely it is time we started using an evidence-led approach?
Dave Finney, Slough

Agree (8) | Disagree (7)