Highlands & Islands

Cameras 'reducing casualties' on Inverness to Dunblane route

A9 cameras
Image caption The network of average speed cameras was switched on in 2014

Average speed cameras have made the A9 between Inverness and Dunblane safer, according to the group monitoring the cameras' effect on driver behaviour.

The network of devices was switched on in October 2014.

The A9 Safety Group has published details comparing accident statistics from the cameras' first three years of operation with 2011-13 figures.

Between Dunblane and Inverness, 10 fewer people have been killed and 96 fewer people injured in accidents.

The comparison also showed that the average number of fatal casualties was down by more than 40%, and there was a 23% fall in the average number of fatal collisions.

'Lost loved ones'

Welcoming the new report, Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: "Behind every statistic lies a tragic story and one of devastation for the families of those involved.

"We should never lose sight of that and we will never be complacent when it comes to road safety.

"My thoughts are first and foremost with those who have lost loved ones or been seriously injured in road accidents."

He added: "However I also have to pay tribute to the work of the A9 Safety Group and recognise that the speed cameras - which were initially heavily criticised in some quarters - have undoubtedly made the A9 safer."

At the same time the cameras were switched on, the speed limit for HGVs using the A9 was also raised from 40mph to 50mph on single carriageways as a pilot project, following calls from hauliers.

The speed limit was raised in an effort to reduce the risk of accidents caused by drivers frustrated by slower traffic and then carrying out dangerous overtaking manoeuvres to get past it.

A9 Safety Group chairman Stuart Wilson said: "Now that we are in possession of three years of comprehensive data we can paint a more detailed picture of the improvements we've seen as a direct result of the speed cameras, various campaigns, and HGV pilot.

"In addition to the most important point that fatalities and serious injuries have dropped by a significant margin, figures on speeding, journey time, incidents and traffic volumes continue to show a long-term sustained change in driver behaviour, which is extremely encouraging."

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