Average speed camera (ASC) checks could be introduced on rural roads in North Yorkshire, it has emerged.
While authorities in the county have repeatedly ruled out using fixed speed cameras as a deterrent, North Yorkshire and York’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Philip Allott has told highways bosses he is considering the system with a view to prosecuting more speeding drivers.
The potential switch in police tactics follows Mr Allott stating he had concerns over North Yorkshire Police’s 12 mobile speed camera vans, which were introduced in 2011, and that getting to grips with the issue was among his highest priorities.
North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for highways Councillor Don Mackenzie said he would support average speed cameras as they would be more effective in making drivers comply with the limit.
He added ASCs would be suitable for any road and any speed limit.
Coun Mackenzie said: “I think it is a better idea than fixed speed cameras because when people get to know where they are they simply slow down near the camera and speed up afterwards. They are not a particularly good deterrent for people who know the area.
“Clearly this is something for the North Yorkshire Police to decide to do and I’m sure if they do decide to introduce a regime of average speed cameras they will come to us and ask for our views. I am a supporter of anything that deters speeding.”
He was speaking after leading councillors questioned whether the force’s speed camera vans were frequently located at predictable locations, reducing their effectiveness.
While the county council has been urged to help redesign roads to reduce injury accidents, a meeting of its executive members saw them question whether focusing more on other driving offences, such as illegal parking, and less on speeding would lead to fewer road collisions.
ASCs have become a common sight on motorways and A-roads since they were first used in the UK in 2000, motoring analysts say average speed cameras are increasingly sited in 30mph zones.
The cost of ASCs has fallen significantly in recent years and with increases in technology, the two cameras can be as little as 75m apart. Supporters of the system claim the only way drivers can guarantee to avoid ASC fines is to comply with the limit.
RAC Foundation research published in 2016 focusing on 25 average speed camera sites found they led to a 36 per cent in the rate of fatal and serious collisions in the post-installation period.