Nanny State? Average speed cameras, Jeremy Clarkson and the Scottish Tories

liam-kerrtoad_Jeremy-Clarkson_2623778b

(c) Edinburgh University, Salisbury Studio Theatre, Daily Telegraph

Back in January 2017, Jeremy Clarkson, raged against the denial of his freedom to speed, after the installation of the average speed camera system, on Scotland’s most dangerous road, the A9. It’s that kind of Toad of Toad Hall, Libertarian / Right-wing thinking Clarkson specialises in. In November that same year, the Scottish Conservative, MSP Liam Kerr, presumably their Boy Racer Spokesman, featured in the Evening Express, questioning their value on the A90, Aberdeen to Dundee:

‘New A90 average speed cameras would not have prevented half of road accidents. New figures left transport chiefs facing fresh questions over their decision to fix the unpopular devices along the A90 Aberdeen to Dundee road. Scottish Conservatives said police data released to the party showed 124 of 272 accidents over the last four years “would not likely have been helped by the money-spinning measure”. North-east MSP Liam Kerr claimed “far more” collisions are happening at junctions, private entrances, and roundabouts than thought, and the vehicles involved were likely to have been “slow-moving and certainly not fast enough to be detected by cameras”.’

https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/fp/news/local/new-a90-average-speed-cameras-would-not-have-prevented-half-of-road-accidents/

Even if Liam is correct, and leaving aside the dodgy arithmetic, is it possible the cameras will help reduce the 148 or bigger half of the accidents? We’ll have to wait to see if they work on the A90, but they clearly work on the A9. The statistics, from the A9 Safety Group, are pretty convincing:

Compared to 2011-13, since the cameras were introduced, the following pattern has emerged:

Dunblane to Inverness

  • 10 fewer people killed
  • 16 fewer people seriously injured
  • 96 fewer people injured
  • Average number of fatal casualties down by over 40%
  • Average number of ‘fatal and serious’ casualties down by 31%
  • Average number of fatal collisions down by over 23%

Perth to Inverness

  • 9 fewer people killed
  • 14 fewer people seriously injured
  • 81 fewer people injured
  • Average number of fatal casualties down by over 40%
  • Average number of ‘fatal and serious’ casualties down by over 32%

Dunblane to Perth

  •  2 fewer people seriously injured
  • 15 fewer people injured
  • Average number of fatal casualties down by 50%
  • Average number of ‘fatal and serious’ casualties down by over 23%
  • Average number of fatal collisions down by 50%

https://news.gov.scot/news/3year-a9-performance-data-published-1

I’ve been up and down the A9 a few times and it regularly scares me near to death.

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3 thoughts on “Nanny State? Average speed cameras, Jeremy Clarkson and the Scottish Tories

  1. Contrary April 23, 2018 / 6:04 pm

    Hi John, I haven’t been up beyond Perth in a few years now – which is the dodgiest bit – but the dualled part up to Perth seems to be much more sedate driving these days, was even quite pleasant the last time I went up to Perth a couple of weeks ago. I’m sure there are far more well travelled folk than me out there with better anecdotal evidence though! I reckon the average speed cameras work absolutely.

    Like

  2. Ludo Thierry April 23, 2018 / 7:04 pm

    Hear Hear – My strong impression is that people have made sensible adjustments to their speed on these long stretches of road – I for one applaud the whole scheme.

    Like

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