SPECS3, the first distributed average speed camera system can now
go live. The long wait is over and SPECS3 has received its full
Home Office Type Approval. This means that the latest in average
speed enforcement technology can be applied on the UK road network.
SPECS3 allows a network of cameras to measure the average speed of
vehicles between camera locations, covering simple sections of road
or area based networks. This delivers a far more flexible solution
than earlier generations of SPECS, allowing distributed cameras to
communicate with each other. Due to simplified installation and
advances in technology, SPECS3 solutions are now considerably more
cost effective, presenting road safety professionals and highway
designers a powerful new tool that can be rapidly configured and
Remote video cameras continually monitor traffic as it passes,
routinely sending number plate data back to a remote central
server. If a vehicle is detected as travelling above the Police
threshold between two valid camera locations, images are retrieved
and an offence file is created. This offence file will then be
viewed by an operator, before any further action is taken.
Traffic flow through a SPECS speed control section improves
considerably, resulting in a safer, smoother and more reliable
journey. Vehicles can merge and diverge more easily, allowing
drivers to enter or leave the carriageway without speeding up or
slowing down to find a gap. The overall result is a conveyor belt
type flow, with uniform speeds, little braking, larger headways,
fewer collisions and reduced emissions. This delivers safer, more
reliable journeys for all road users, whilst maximising throughput
on roads with a high traffic volume.
It is anticipated that SPECS3 will be operated in 20mph zones,
rural routes, strategic trunk roads and Managed Motorway
applications. In doing so, the cameras should ensure that the
roads are safe, journeys are reliable, emissions are reduced and
only a very few drivers will need to be penalized, which is
ultimately the mark of an effective speed management tool.