Author(s): Harry Lahrmann, Bo Brassøe, Jonas Wibert Johansen, Jens Christian Overgaard Madsen
There is considerable safety potential in ensuring that motorists respect the speed limits. High speeds increase the number and severity of accidents. Technological development over the last 20 years has enabled the development of systems that allow automatic speed control. The first generation of automatic speed control was point-based, but in recent years a potentially more effective alternative automatic speed control method has been introduced. This method is based upon records of drivers’ average travel speed over selected sections of the road and is normally called average speed control or section control. This article discusses the different methods for automatic speed control and presents an evaluation of the safety effects of average speed control, documented through changes in speed levels and accidents before and after the implementation of average speed control at selected sites in the UK. The study demonstrates that the introduction of average speed control results in statistically significant and substantial reductions both in speed and in number of accidents. The evaluation indicates that average speed control has a higher safety effect than point-based automatic speed control.
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