Arrive Alive

Average Speed Over Distance Traffic Enforcement and Road Safety

Speed has always been a contributing factor to road crashes. The incorrect speed for the circumstance could not only be a cause to the crash but also significantly impact on our ability to avoid a crash.

It further has a significant impact on the resulting devastation caused by crashes/ collisions.

No road user can deny that speed limits and enforcement are needed. The enforcement is however often regarded by the public with much suspicion and when performed by officers hiding behind cameras mostly seen as a mere money generating tool.

We need effective, visible traffic enforcement of all moving violations. If speed enforcement can be performed in a manner that allows more officers to be on the road stopping vehicles it can contribute towards safer roads! 

In some areas of South Africa we have seen the introduction of Average Speed over Distance [ASOD] as a method of Speed Enforcement.

We have decided to do find more information on this from the road authorities through a Q&A with Kevin October.

Could you provide us with a brief history to Average Speed Over Distance [ASOD] in the Western Cape?

I am the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works Road Safety Programme Manager ( Safely Home) and have been in this portfolio for over 4 years.

ASOD/ANPR was identified as one of our Strategic Road Safety projects specifically in addressing the need to reduce road crash fatalities on our Key National and Provincial roads. In our endeavours we initiated this technology on one of the Western Cape's most critical Public Transport long distance roads- the R61 Aberdeen Road that leads from Beaufort West to the Eastern Cape.

This stretch is 76km in distance and used on a daily basis as the Public Transport route for citizens going home and back.

Subsequent to this implementation our Department entered into a Implementation Protocol with SANRAL to ensure that ASOD/ANPR roll-out on roads where SANRAL is the Road Authority, are done in partnership with SANRAL. This partnership has delivered great rewards and allows us to continually revise, re-strategize and keep innovative with technology

ASOD/ANPR was first initiated by KZN and it was based on this learning that the Western Cape Government took the decision to implement it as one of its weapons to counter the scourge of road crash fatalities.

The R61 was, and I iterate "was", one of the roads where we had major crashes ( of Public Transport vehicles) and of course one must note that a taxi or bus crash results in multiple deaths. Since the implementation of the ASOD on this toad ( which is also the longest ASOD stretch recorded in the world) a drastic decline in road deaths as well as speeds are visible and recorded. ( refer to graphs below).

Our intent with ASOD remains NOT to use it as a fine generation revenue fund but for its core purpose of reduction in excessive speeds and fatalities.

What is Average Speed Over Distance Speed Enforcement?

This pamphlet provides this information as easy reference.



How does Average Speed Determination work?

Point A to B



Vehicle passes point A at 10:35:15
and point B at 11:06:35
Time from A to B 31m20s
Average Speed =

Distance / Time

  = 71.7 km / 0.5222 h
  = 137.3 kph
Speed limit on Road = 120 kph
Speed limit exceeded:
Cars: 17.3 kph
Buses and Mini buses 37.3 kph
HMV > 9000kg 57.3 kph

What is the speed limit for the different categories of vehicles?


If you are driving with a licensing plate that is not to the standard as prescribed i.e.:

  1. Licensing Plates MUST be affixed in the prescribed manner:
    1. Pop-Riveted to …
    2. Must not be concealed/obscured or illegible
    3. Numbering and Lettering must be as prescribed
  2. NOTE:  If your vehicle is found not to be in compliance your vehicle may be discontinued;
  3. It is Illegal to drive without Number Plates or False Number Plates


  1. Overloading contributes to a high number of deaths and injuries on our roads;
  2. Overloading also causes damage to the road infrastructure amounting to millions of rands;
  3. An overloaded vehicle is unbalanced and dangerous!


  1. Make sure that the number of passengers and goods do not exceed the specifications on the certificate of the fitness of the vehicle
  2. Make sure that loads are safely contained and fastened within the vehicle


  1. Take less luggage on your trip to avoid unnecessary delays and inconvenience
  2. Do not distract the Driver while in transit;
  3. Always wear your seatbelt;

All drivers of public transport and private vehicles must ensure the safety of their passengers, goods and the safety of other road users.


  1. Ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy before taking a trip by checking that the lights, steering column, shock absorbers, windscreen wipers and brakes are in good working condition;
  2. Fit only manufacturer recommended tyres


  1. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE!  “Two-thousand-and-one… Two-Thousand-and-two…”
  2. When walking on the roads – walk as far right of the road verge  facing on coming vehicles as possible and ALWAYS wear bright clothing;
  3. Cross the road at designated pedestrian crossings  or where it is safe to do so;
  4. NEVER walk on the roads while intoxicated;


  1. Your eyes start to feel heavy and you can’t see too well;
  2. You feel uncomfortable, you move around in your seat a lot and you get angry quickly;
  3. You don’t look carefully at what’s happening on the road anymore;
  4. It is difficult for you to keep your taxi/bus/heavy- or light motor vehicle on the road;
  5. You yawn a lot and feel like you want to sleep;


  1. Have a good night’s rest before your trip;
  2. STOP and REST for at least 15 minutes at every 2 HOUR journey!
  3. Talking to your passengers keeps your mind active;
  4. DO NOT Travel more than 8 to 10 Hours per day
  5. SHARE the driving
  6. Take regular fluids while driving –



What are the benefits of Average speed Over Distance Enforcement?

  • Drastic reduction in vehicle speed;
  • Tactical operational deployment of enforcement staff
  • Change in driver behaviour
  • Vehicle and driver compliance
  • Higher visibility of traffic enforcement as our traffic officers are immediately alerted on any offenses picked up on eNATIS i.e. Roadworthy outstanding alerts/ License Expiry Alerts; Dealer Stock vehicles etc. and can immediately address the compliance issue.

Would you agree that this is a more “fair” way of enforcing speed limits? Why would you say so?

Yes. ASOD removes the old “hidden” speed camera enforcement as all motorists are adequately warned of the ASOD area and compelled to keep to prescribed speeds.

Where in SA can we find this method of speed enforcement?

We have this technology deployed in the Western Cape on the following stretches of road:

  1. N1 – Three Sisters to Beaufort West
  2. R61 Aberdeen Road to Beaufort West;
  3. N1 Beaufort West to Leeu-Gamka
  4. N1 Leeu -Gamka to Laingsburg;
  5. N1 Laingsburg to Touws River
  6. R27- West Coast road from Ganzekraal to Saldanha
  7. The N2 Sir Lowry’s Pass to Grabouw- Houw Hoek

Further roll-out of the ASOD on the N2 will take place in 2015/16 as well as on the N7 in the Western Cape.

KZN has alreadyimplemented the ASOD system on various sections of provincial roads,

Is there any data as proof that this leads to a reduction on average speeds where this is applied? Can you share this with us?

Below are the graphs of analysis recently done on some of the stretches of road the system was implemented on. The left of the graph depicts the number of speed infringements prior to implementation, shows date of implementation, the right shows linear measurements of reductions the number of same infringements since its implementation.   A clear downward trend is seen since implementation.

R61 Aberdeen: 2011 to 2015 Analysis:

N1 2011 - 2015

R27 2103 - 2105

Does this require a significant financial “start-up” cost for hardware or maintenance cost? How would it compare to the cost of speed enforcement by traffic officers?

Compared to the cost of life saved for the economy the cost of implementing this technology is minimal. The technology takes away the need for an officer to sit behind a speed camera and releases the resource to be operational on the road.

In fact the activities on ASOD/ANPR justifies the need even further for more resources as the number of eNATIS offenses picked up vs. the resources to deal with Section 56 notices surpass capacity. This in itself has given us clear facts as to the number of vehicles on our roads that are actually not roadworthy and/or licensed.

Why do you believe this is not rolled out faster in other areas of South Africa?

As we keep with implementing the technology we also constantly change the functionality and should it be rolled out further .YES definitely, thus our Departmental decisions to continue with the roll-out in the Western Cape on its high risk routes.

Are there any limitations as to where it could be applied – are there specific geographical considerations as to length of road required / traffic congestion etc?

Each ASOD project is decided on evidence that conditions exist that justify such implementation. For example detailed analysis on Crashes, Fatalities, Vehicular speeds, Socio-economic conditions –(Community growth and needs for safety).

Based on the analysis it is then submitted for approval to implement. I need to stress that ASOD is not implemented for fine revenue but remains a core intent of road death reduction.

Could the cameras have additional benefits such as combatting crime through the number plate recognition?

Yes. I can unfortunately not share any detail in this regard. I think you would understand the reasons for this...

Example of Average Speed over Distance Traffic Fine

Also View:

Speeding, Road Safety and Accident

Driver Attitude and Speeding

Speeding and Analysis of Speed in Crash Investigation


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