One of the most high profile initiatives of the A77 Safety Group has been the introduction of the SPECS average speed camera system. The cameras cover a 32mile section of the A77 from Bogend Toll to Ardwell Bay.
Speeding on the A77 has been identified as a serious issue by road safety practitioners and was considered a significant factor in many of the serious crashes that had occurred on the road in recent years. A local consultation exercise carried out in mid 2004 by the A77 Safety Group also revealed that speeding was one of the principal concerns raised by communities along the road.
The Strathclyde Safety Camera Partnership was asked to join the A77 Safety Group in July 2004 and it was hoped that safety cameras would reduce the excessive speed of some motorists on the A77.
Transport Scotland assisted the Partnership in installing a SPECS average speed system, which was a first ever for Scottish roads.
The 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.
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. Since the system was installed there has been a huge drop in the numbers of vehicles travelling at excessive speeds. Comparison of casualty statistics requires several years worth of data to establish a trend but early indications look encouraging based on the results available within the first year.