Wide-area speed enforcement
is the way forward, say experts


Behaviour change alone is not enough – it takes a long time to engender change; enforcement should not be considered a last resort, it should be considered at the outset alongside a range of options.

That is one of the messages in a keynote presentation by Road Safety Support, titled ‘Enabling Wide-area Enforcement Through Technology’, delivered at the Festival of Road Safety Conference this week.

If you missed the presentation, delivered by Emma Kelly, Development, PR & Advocacy Manager at Road Safety Support, and Steve Callaghan, Technical and Calibration Laboratory Manager, you can catch it above.

In the presentation, Emma Kelly gives an overview of the wide-area enforcement strategy that is being used by a number of police forces and road safety partnerships.

Emma explains that collisions have moved away from cluster sites traditionally enforced by fixed site cameras, and are more disparate and occurring across a whole route or whole area, and as such ‘we therefore need to move to a more proactive approach (to enforcement)’.

She goes on to argue that ‘people need to believe they can be caught anytime, anyplace, anywhere through ‘unpredictable visibility’ – in other words, the exact location and time of speed enforcement should not be known to drivers. 

Download 'Raising the Game,' the enforcement strategy document referred to in the presentation, here: Enforcement Strategy - Raising the Game

Steve Callaghan then goes on to talk about ‘making the best use of assets’ (cameras).

He suggests that cameras should be deployed in ‘unannounced, discrete and apparently random locations’, in order to maximise effectiveness because drivers cannot readily predict enforcement, and as a consequence ‘manipulation’ of enforcement by drivers becomes less likely.

He advocates a strategy that says it is important that all speed limits are observed at all times, and that all limits will be enforced. All roads and locations will be monitored by enforcement equipment and there will be no forewarning of enforcement activity. In other words, assets are used in a random fashion at more locations so it becomes much less predictable. This strategy uses the same number of assets, but in a ‘cleverer way’.

Steve then goes on to talk about the emergence of dash cams – how footage can be forensically analysed, and why it is worth taking the time to do this.

He also demonstrates how ‘even if we cannot see a speedometer, it is still possible to work out the speed of a moving vehicle’. This allows police forces to prosecute those who ‘flout the law, sending a clear deterrence message’.


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