Speed Cameras in the Beltways of Barcelona: A Cost-Benefit and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis
Posted: 23 Jun 2007
Date Written: June 2007
Under the Municipal Road Safety Plan of Barcelona, eight speed cameras came into operation in the beltways of the city of Barcelona in 2003 with the aim of reducing the number of road crashes and their consequences. The evaluation of its effectiveness (period 2003-2005) found that the mean annual numbers of crashes in the beltway are 638 for the pre-intervention period and 486 post-intervention and the mean number of people injured yearly for the pre- and post-intervention periods, respectively, are 946 and 696; the attributable fractions of road crashes are -37.4% and for injured people -36.4%.
To our knowledge, it has not been undertaken economic evaluations of these type of public health interventions in urban contexts.
This study aims to perform a cost-benefit and a cost-effectiveness analysis of the installation of speed cameras in the beltways of Barcelona.
The cost-benefit analysis takes into account two perspectives: direct costs and society. Both perspectives have the same costs structure including implementation, police, maintenance and photo/tickets processing and delivery costs derived from the installation and operation of the speed cameras. The benefits of the direct costs perspective include health care costs of injured people avoided (in-hospital stays and ambulances), private property damages as well as productivity losses avoided. The society perspective considers willingness to pay values for different injury states as benefits derived from the installation of the radars. In both perspectives, the net present value is obtained subtracting benefits from costs. The cost-effectiveness analysis considers the same costs structure of the cost-benefit analysis. The effectiveness variable is injured people avoided in accordance with the effectiveness study previously carried out. Both analysis have a temporal horizon of 2 years (03/2003-03/2005) and a 3% discount rate. The corresponding consumer price index is applied to those values different to 2005. Sensitivity analyses were performed varying the discounting rates and taking into account the confidence intervals of the effectiveness variable to test the stability of the results.
The cost-benefit analysis from the direct costs perspective shows a net benefit around 4 million euros. The same analysis but assessed from the society perspective shows a net benefit around 15 million euros. The cost-effectiveness analysis shows a cost per injured person avoided near to 500 euros. None of the sensitivity analyses show substantial changes in the results of the base case.
The use of speed enforcement devices in urban contexts is a public health intervention suitable to reduce road injuries and its economic impact even when it is assessed under conservative assumptions.
Keywords: Cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness, injury prevention, public health
JEL Classification: H43, I12, R49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation