Effects of average speed enforcement on speed compliance and crashes: a review of the literature

Accid Anal Prev. 2013 May;54:46-56. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2013.01.018. Epub 2013 Feb 15.


Average speed enforcement is a relatively new approach gaining popularity throughout Europe and Australia. This paper reviews the evidence regarding the impact of this approach on vehicle speeds, crash rates and a number of additional road safety and public health outcomes. The economic and practical viability of the approach as a road safety countermeasure is also explored. A literature review, with an international scope, of both published and grey literature was conducted. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest a number of road safety benefits associated with average speed enforcement, including high rates of compliance with speed limits, reductions in average and 85th percentile speeds and reduced speed variability between vehicles. Moreover, the approach has been demonstrated to be particularly effective in reducing excessive speeding behaviour. Reductions in crash rates have also been reported in association with average speed enforcement, particularly in relation to fatal and serious injury crashes. In addition, the approach has been shown to improve traffic flow, reduce vehicle emissions and has also been associated with high levels of public acceptance. Average speed enforcement offers a greater network-wide approach to managing speeds that reduces the impact of time and distance halo effects associated with other automated speed enforcement approaches. Although comparatively expensive it represents a highly reliable approach to speed enforcement that produces considerable returns on investment through reduced social and economic costs associated with crashes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accident Prevention / economics
  • Accident Prevention / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Accident Prevention / methods*
  • Accidents, Traffic / economics
  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control*
  • Accidents, Traffic / psychology
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data
  • Australia
  • Automobile Driving / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Automobile Driving / psychology
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Dangerous Behavior
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Law Enforcement / methods*