THE number of drivers caught by average speed cameras on the A9 has increased nearly five-fold in the last three months, new figures showed today.
A total of 1,446 motorists have been snapped since January, compared to 298 in the previous three months when the cameras started operating.
The proportion of drivers breaking the limit has also almost doubled on some sections of the road to one in ten, the report from the A9 Safety Group revealed.
Four people are thought to have died on the A9 in the six months since the cameras were switched on compared to eight for the whole of 2014.
The cameras went live on 28 October on single carriageway sections of the A9 between Perth and Inverness, and the dual carriageway between Perth and the Keir roundabout, south of Dunblane.
The figures show speeders peaked at one in ten drivers at Killiecrankie, north of Pitlochry, in February compared to 6 per cent last October, although they accounted for one in three drivers on that stretch in March last year.
Other sections have also shown increases, with speeders on the Dalwhinnie stretch up from 6 per cent to 9 per cent in the last three months.
The Institute of Advanced Motorists said the system had still to prove itself.
Scotland-based policy and research director Neil Greig said: “This is still an experiment, so if certain sections are showing anomalies then Transport Scotland must investigate and ensure signposting is consistent and the message is clear along the whole length of the A9 covered by the scheme.
“The really important results are those for deaths and injuries, which will be out in July.
“The success or failure of the whole project will rest on whether the cameras have saved lives.”
The A9 Safety Group, which includes Scottish Government agency Transport Scotland, Police Scotland and local authorities, said the cameras had brought a major cut in speeding.
Chair Stewart Leggett said: “The latest data shows that in the areas covered by cameras compliance rates remain exceptionally high.
“The number of vehicles travelling at excess speed (10mph above the limit) is down from one in ten before installation and has been maintained at a level of around one in 250 since the cameras were introduced.”
He said speeding had been cut from one in three drivers to one in 15. However, this has increased from one in 20 between October and January.
Mr Leggett said: “The latest figures released by Police Scotland indicate the level of vehicles exceeding the enforcement thresholds equates to an average of less than ten per day across the whole of the enforcement area based on an average daily traffic volume of over 10,000 vehicles between Perth and Inverness and 24,000 vehicles daily between Dunblane and Perth.
“There has been a rise in vehicles exceeding the thresholds, but this is not unexpected and the profile is following the experiences encountered on the A77 [where average speed cameras were introduced in 2005].”
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