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Figures released today by the A77 Safety Group indicate that the SPECS cameras in Ayrshire continue to help reduce accidents on this busy route.

 The three year data published on the Safety Group's website,, shows a significant reduction not only in casualties but also in accident numbers.  This means that in the three years since the implementation of the SPECS average speed camera system around 24 people have avoided death or serious injury.  Overall this has led to a reduction in the most serious accidents, including fatal, of 37%.

 The figures are based on the analysis of statistics associated with accident and casualty numbers at the end of three full years of Scotland's first average speed camera system.  The SPECS system stretches over a 32 mile zone from Bogend Toll south of Kilmarnock to Ardwell Bay south of Girvan.

 Hugh McCafferty of Transport Scotland, and chair of the A77 Safety Group commented:

 "These figures are very good.  SPECS has clearly played a key part in reducing accident numbers and that is why the cameras will remain in place now that the pilot period is complete."

 "As ever, the most critical element in road safety is always the behaviour of road users and we recognise the significant efforts of the Safety Group partners for their continued work in enforcement, engineering and education."

 As with all safety cameras, the aim of the SPECS camera system is to encourage drivers to keep within the speed limits and not become speeding offenders in the first place.

Overall the system has resulted in a huge decrease in vehicle speeds with a high degree of compliance by road users resulting in a very low number of offenders.

 However there has been a significant increase in the number of offenders since a 50 mph section was introduced between Bogend and Dutch House for safety reasons in March 2008. This is in spite of substantial investment in signing and vehicle activated messaging together with an extensive publicity campaign in advance of the speed limit reduction.  This is a matter of concern and the members of the A77 Safety Group continue to work together to identify how these figures can be reduced.

 Notes to editor:

  • The average annual fatal accident rate dropped 46%, reducing from 4.3 to 2.3
  • The average annual serious injury rate fell 35%, from 17.3 to 11.3. 
  • The average 'all accident' rate has reduced by 19% reduction. 

         The A77 stretches from Fenwick, situated north of Kilmarnock, and flows south past Ayr and onto Stranraer via a winding and challenging coastal road. 

         The A77 Safety Group was launched in July 2004 with the aim of reducing the unacceptable number of accidents occurring on the route.  It comprises representatives from Transport Scotland, Amey, Strathclyde Police, South Ayrshire Council, Strathclyde Safety Camera Partnership, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, and Westsound Radio. 

         The partners aim to deliver a structured and co-ordinated approach to the elements of engineering, education, encouragement and enforcement on the A77 to the benefit of all road users and the communities which the road serves.

         The Group has shown that partnership working has helped deliver engineering, enforcement and education initiatives as well as encouraging the users of the road through driver and community awareness campaigns informing them of changes in the law etc.

         The Group was rewarded for their efforts by receiving the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in 2006, along with several other awards.

         Scotland's first SPECS average speed camera system was installed as a 2 year pilot project in July 2005 as a joint initiative between Transport Scotland and Strathclyde Safety Camera Partnership at a cost of around 1.1 million, it covers a 32 mile section of the A77 Trunk Road from Bogend Toll to Ardwell Bay.  The pilot was subsequently scheduled to run for 3 years which is the normal evaluation period used for accident analysis.

         The SPECS system measures the time taken by individual vehicles to pass through sections of the route and takes a photograph of any that register a higher average speed than the limit allows.

 -ends-                                                                                                30 October 2008


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