Reducing Car Speed Nation-wide - the Effectiveness of Mobile Speed Cameras in Denmark

Reducing Car Speed Nation-wide - the Effectiveness of Mobile Speed Cameras in Denmark


L Ágústsson and S Ottesen, Vejdirektoratet, DK



h4. Introduction

Studies show that a combination of engineering measures, information and speed enforcement is the most efficient way to resolve the problem of speeding cars. In Denmark this strategy has led to an extensive use of all three measures and mobile speed cameras has proven to be a very important part of the overall strategy to reduce car speeds.

The automatic speed control pilot project was carried out in the metropolitan area of Copenhagen and large areas of the island of Funen. The pilot project ran from April 1999 to April 2000 and has led to a political decision to enforce the speed limits by using mobile speed cameras on all roads in Denmark. Methods of controlThe speed camera is placed on the back of a van. This enables the police to move the equipment between several sites during the day. A site for speed control is chosen from a list of roads where manyaccidents occur. The list is compiled from accident statistics in co-operation with the police, the local municipality and the Road Directorate. However, the list is only to be re-garded as a general guideline for the police. The local police can rightfully control any road or street in the district.

The Danish rules require that the picture show the licence plate and the face of the driver. A fine including the picture is sent by mail to the owner of the car. According to the traffic code the owner of the car is obliged to disclose the identity of the driver. This rule is made to ensure that it is in fact the violator that is fined.

Information and campaignsAn important part of the project is information and campaigns directed to the affected groups. It has been necessary to prioritise information in order to get the general public to accept the intensive speed control. This strategy has worked and the latest opinion poll shows that 69% of the Danish public find automatic speed control to be a good idea.

EvaluationThe evaluation of the pilot project is based on measuring speeds at 20 chosen sites inside the control zones and 10 sites outside the zones for comparison. The results show a reduction in speeds of in average 2,4 km/h inside the zones and no changes outside the zones. Accident sta-tistics will be evaluated in the spring of 2002 and a reduction of accidents at 10-15% is expected.

The future of Automatic speed control in DenmarkOn the 1st of July 2001 the process began of establishing the automatic speed enforcement in all Danishpolice districts. The approach is similar to the one used in the pilot project and the effect on speed and accidents will be evaluated summer 2002.

The decision to implement the mobile control is to allow the possibility of automatic speed control on allroads. Hereby a clear message is sent to the Danish drivers - speeding is never acceptable.


Association for European Transport