Memorandum by Northamptonshire County
Council (RTS 142)
ROAD TRAFFIC SPEED
In July 1999 a local Casualty Reduction Strategy
was launched in Northamptonshire with the aim "to provide
safer roads within the county, whereby the current levels of death
and serious injury resulting from road collisions are significantly
The strategy is based upon four key principles:
Intelligence led activity.
Maximising community involvement.
Investment in technology.
As part of this strategy the Northamptonshire
Police, Magistrates' Courts, and County Council, on behalf of
the Northamptonshire Partnership, produced a business case for
a safety camera hypothecation project that was approved by DETR
and launched as one of eight pilot projects across the country
in April 2000.
A Steering Group that has representatives of
the Police, County Council, Highways Agency, Magistrates' Court
and Health Authority meets every quarter to oversee the Casualty
At an operational level, a User Implementation
Group comprising of staff from all the agencies within the Partnership,
plus representatives of local councils, meets every month to organise
casualty reduction activity in the county.
This co-ordinated approach is recognised by
all the partners as a key factor in Northamptonshire's success
in reducing casualty levels.
An intelligence led approach is used to identify
locations for remedial action. Through the analysis of collision
data we focus on three key areas:
Common causation factors.
Specific road user groups.
The road network in Northamptonshire has been
categorised according to the number and severity of collisions
occurring over a three-year period. The classification allows
for county roads to be designated either:
Redthose sites/routes requiring full collision
and casualty profiling and focused activity.
Amberthose sites/routes requiring close
monitoring to ensure that effective measure can be taken to prevent
an escalation to a red site.
Greenthose sites/routes that do not have
serious problems and require little or no attention at the present
All of the routes receiving a "red"
classification are subjected to a process whereby full data analysis
and casualty profiling is undertaken on the basis of all collisions
reported over a three-year period. This enables action to be taken
on a comprehensive basis designed to influence road user attitude
and behaviour and reduce the risk of accidents through:
The User Implementation Group determines the
appropriateness of applying particular options or a combination
of options to a specific site or route. The agreed solutions are
targeted to achieve the maximum possible KSI casualty reduction.
The partnership is keen that casualty reduction
and road safety are seen as community issues, rather than the
preserve of experts. Therefore the following initiatives have
been developed to involve road user groups and individuals
A Road Safety Conference for representatives
of road user and community groups, parish, borough and district
councils setting out our Casualty Reduction Strategy and seeking
their active involvement.
Partnership with Action with Communities
in Rural England on "Speed Watch" community scheme.
Under this scheme drivers pledge to adhere to speed limits within
their villages, whilst the partnership provide anti-speeding poster
campaigns, and regular visits from "Speed Indicator Devices"
and mobile cameras.
Diversionary speed workshops for
drivers as an alternative to a fixed penalty notice and penalty
Leaflets have also been produced
and distributed to road users explaining the need for measures
on red routes, what has been done and the casualty reduction benefits
The successful achievement of pilot Safety Camera
Project status in 1999 allowed the partnership to acquire technological
resources to allow the successful enforcement of speed limits
in the county for the first time. The key developments have been:
The installation of a network of
fixed site cameras.
The acquisition of mobile camera
devices and support vehicles.
A new dedicated enforcement team.
Bulk film processing capability.
A new central ticket office with
staff, IT and specialist equipment.
Increased staff levels for prosecution
Increased staff levels and IT provision
within the Magistrates Courts.
Increased staff levels for education
and marketing strategies.
Increased staff levels for performance
The objectives of the project are:
To demonstrate a reduction in collisions
and casualties through additional speed and red light camera enforcement.
To reassure the public that the motivation
behind the additional activity is wholly based on collision and
To bring about a change in driver
attitude towards excess speed and thus impact their behaviour.
The Project seeks to achieve these objectives
by integrating an appropriate mix of education and enforcement,
combined with a marketing strategy designed to gain the support
and endorsement of the community.
The sites and routes chosen for regular camera
activity are all on red of amber routes where profiling indicates
KSI casualties as a result of speed. Community support for the
Camera Safety Project has been given a high priority so that it
is not viewed as a way of generating income.
A Marketing and Public Relations strategy has
been devised to maximise public support for camera enforcement.
This has been achieved by clear, consistent and open messages
about the project and showing that it is truly a multi-agency
approach to a single aim of reducing casualties as a result of
vehicle speed. Every opportunity is taken to promote the casualty
reduction benefits of the project through local and national media.
The Safety Camera Project is not a single solution
of enforcement cameras. It utilises education, enforcement and
engineering solutions to influence behaviour, raise awareness,
gain compliance, create a safer environment and reduce casualties.
Our enforcement approach mixes mobile and fixed
site enforcement of speed limits, with 85 per cent of our effort
concentrated on Red Route sites. The remaining 15 per cent of
enforcement is currently at locations where there is public concern
about the speed of vehicles, but not necessarily a serious accident
Northamptonshire has achieved remarkable progress
towards meeting the national casualty reduction targets:
|Per cent change||-
In addition, when compared to the same baseline:
Child KSI casualties are down 27 per cent.
Pedestrian KSI casualties are down 44 per cent.
Car Occupant KSI casualties are down 33 per cent.
Slight casualties are down 9 per cent.
At fixed camera sites:
Accidents have fallen by 50 per cent.
KSI casualties have fallen 67 per cent.
In the county as a whole, detected offences are up from 4,342
in 1999-2000 to 84,127 in 2000-01.
Of the 18 cameras initially installed in the county, only
one site is still recording 85th percentile speeds that exceed
the speed limit.
A survey of local residents conducted by MORI in 2000 reported
73 per cent believe that fewer collisions are
likely on the roads where cameras are in operation.
75 per cent accept that dangerous drivers are
more likely to be caught.
79 per cent believe that cameras are a means of
encouraging motorists to stick to the limit.
90 per cent believe speeding is an anti social
Jon Shortland BA, DMS
Casualty Reduction Manager