New speed camera to be introduced next year

A set of Average Speed Cameras, which are installed on two gantries about 4km apart, deployed along Changi Coastal Road as part of a trial run in 2013.
A set of Average Speed Cameras, which are installed on two gantries about 4km apart, deployed along Changi Coastal Road as part of a trial run in 2013.PHOTO: ST FILE

A new speed camera system will be introduced early next year along the new Tanah Merah Coast Road with the hopes of "shaping" motorists' behaviour and making them more conscious of speeding.

The Average Speed Camera (ASC) calculates a vehicle's average speed by tracking it on radar when it enters a monitoring zone, the Traffic Police (TP) said yesterday.

The technology used in the ASC can distinguish between a lorry and a sedan car based on its radar signature, and tell if the vehicle has been travelling over its assigned speed limit or the road's speed limit.

But the TP commander, Senior Assistant Commissioner (SAC) of Police Sam Tee, said: "I want to emphasise the point that TP deploys our enforcement cameras based on a risk assessment.

"Where there are speeding-related accidents and danger zones, this is where we will consider (using enforcement cameras)."

The ASC will be deployed at Tanah Merah Coast Road because the new road is heavily used by lorries, delivery trucks and even cyclists on the weekends, he said.

He added that deployment of the ASC on other roads would need to be studied first.

SAC Tee also said the use of enforcement cameras may vary from fixed-speed cameras to mobile ones, adding that it depends on "whichever will give us an effective way to shape motorists' behaviour".

The extensive public education on speed camera enforcement efforts may have contributed to a dip in the number of speeding-related accidents and violations as reported in the TP annual report, Traffic Situation 2016.

The number of speeding-related accidents dropped by 10.4 per cent, from 1,206 accidents in 2015 to 1,081 last year. The number of speeding violation cases also fell by 7.8 per cent, from 186,838 in 2015 to 172,192 last year.

The use of the ASC by countries such as Britain, New Zealand and Australia have shown positive outcomes, transport engineering consultant A.P. Gopinath Menon told The Straits Times.

Mr Menon said: "Studies have shown that the use of ASC is effective because speeding incidents have dropped. There is also a drop in speed-related accident cases. But the studies can't attribute accidents solely to speeding as there are other factors.

"Motorists will now know (when travelling in a zone monitored by an ASC) that they need to be more careful and vigilant in keeping to the speed limit."

Zaihan Mohamed Yusof

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 16, 2017, with the headline 'New speed camera to be introduced next year'. Print Edition | Subscribe