SCOTLAND’S first urban average speed camera system is to go live in the Capital on Monday.
The cameras on a stretch of Old Dalkeith Road have been undergoing tests since they were installed in May.
Police say the £113,000 system – which will see drivers having their speed tracked over a mile – will improve safety, reduce the number of collisions and encourage motorists to drive within the speed limit.
There were six collisions in three years on the 30mph stretch, including the death of Royal Infirmary nurse Jill Pirrie, 33, killed by a car during a police chase in May last year as she walked home from a shift at the hospital.
Two other accidents in the area resulted in serious injury.
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The cameras will operate in both directions, measuring speeds between the Western Toyota showroom, just south of the Cameron Toll roundabout, and a point between Walter Scott Avenue and Kingston Avenue.
Police said speed surveys in the area showed speed was a continuing concern with a high proportion of vehicles travelling above the speed limit.
They said experience with average speed cameras on the A77 and the A9 had demonstrated they delivered significant road safety improvements and they expected similar outcomes for the scheme on Old Dalkeith Road.
It is understood average speed cameras were chosen for Old Dalkeith Road because of the difficulty of safely siting fixed cameras on the route due to the narrow pavements, and a lack of suitable parking for mobile cameras vans.
Inspector Vinnie Fisher, the East safety camera unit manager, said: “Having identified a high casualty rate on Old Dalkeith Road and having ruled out other potential remedial measures, we considered all the tactical options available to combat the excessive speed on the road. Following analysis and discussions with colleagues in the city council and the Scottish Safety Camera Programme Office, it was agreed an average speed camera system would be the most effective intervention in making the road safer for everyone using the route.
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“Following on from the installation and a period of testing, the system will go live on Monday and we are confident it will have a noticeable effect on driver behaviour and the speeds of vehicles on this stretch of road with a resultant reduction in casualties.”
City transport convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “The council and our Streets Ahead partners are working towards Vision Zero, where everyone is safe from the risk of being killed or seriously injured on our roads.
“Speeding has been a major issue on this stretch of Old Dalkeith Road in particular, with several collisions and sadly one fatal crash.
“We fully support Safety Cameras Scotland’s decision to install safety cameras here. We would remind all road users to watch their speed at all times wherever they’re travelling, to keep themselves and others safe.”