On trial: Cameras to clock car's average speed

These “average speed cameras” along Changi Coastal Road calculate a vehicle’s average speed over a stretch. -- ST PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER TAN
These “average speed cameras” along Changi Coastal Road calculate a vehicle’s average speed over a stretch. -- ST PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER TAN

Those who breach limits will find it harder to evade the new technology

Habitual speedsters, watch out - new cameras that "know" your average travelling speed are up and running.

Unlike with the spot speed cameras in use here since 1992, motorists will have a much harder time evading the new technology, which calculates a vehicle's average speed over a stretch to determine if it is breaching the speed limit.

Police installed the first set of so-called "average speed cameras" as a trial at Changi Coastal Road last November, and they were switched on in January.

The cameras are mounted on two gantry-like structures about 4km apart and were spotted by The Straits Times, which understands they are capable of monitoring traffic in both directions.

Such cameras are used in countries such as Australia, the United States and Britain.

Singapore Road Safety Council vice-chairman Gopinath Menon described them as "a fairer method" of enforcing speed limits.

Retiree Lee Chiu San, 67, reckons that the new cameras will be more effective.

"You will be more well behaved over a greater distance," he said, adding that they should be used alongside a "sensible" speed limit.

Changi Coastal Road's current limit is 70kmh. Despite warnings and speed stripes, the 10km road has been the site of serious and fatal accidents in recent years - many involving heavy vehicles and cyclists.

However, some motorists feel the 70kmh limit is too low for such a long and straight road, and, in itself, may be a hazard as drivers could lose attention.

Automobile Association of Singapore chief executive Lee Wai Mun called for a holistic approach to improving road safety.

"We seem to be swinging from one target group to another," he said.

"We need to look at how we enforce behaviour of every road user, including cyclists and pedestrians."

Police would not say how much the camera trial costs, or whether the system will be rolled out to other roads.

"There is only one on trial for now, and there are no further plans at this point of time," a spokesman said."The trial is ongoing, and no summons has been issued thus far."

christan@sph.com.sg

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