Cameras help reduce accident toll

ROADSIDE cameras at a notorious accident black spot in Suffolk have led to a 50% drop in accidents, new figures have revealed.Data published by Suffolk SafeCam, a project set up to reduce road accidents at sites across Suffolk, show 11 people were killed or seriously injured in the three years prior to cameras being installed.

ROADSIDE cameras at a notorious accident black spot in Suffolk have led to a 50% drop in accidents, new figures have revealed.

Data published by Suffolk SafeCam, a project set up to reduce road accidents at sites across Suffolk, show 11 people were killed or seriously injured in the three years prior to cameras being installed.

In the following three years after they were set up, the number has been reduced to five, and cameras along the A12 at Benhall and the A140 at Coddenham are having similar results.

The figures come a month after it was revealed 70 motorists a day were being caught speeding at fixed camera sites on the A14 at Haughley, in Benhall, in Coddenham and by two mobile cameras.

But five people were still either killed or seriously injured on the A14 at Haughley near Stowmarket during the past three years.

Suffolk SafeCam project manager Terry Marsh said: "This is very encouraging news and proves that cameras are effective at reducing the number of accidents.

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"We expect these figures to be repeated at other camera sites around the county with an estimated saving of around 60 accidents per year ".

Liberal Democrat leader Peter Monk, a member of the county council's executive committee, added: "The figures to date from Haughley, Coddenham and Benhall will make a significant contribution to the Government target of reducing the number of killed or seriously injured casualties by 40% by 2010.

"The locations of the cameras are widely publicised, so our objective is not to catch motorists out, but to save accidents by encouraging drivers to keep to speed limits."

A spokeswoman for Suffolk SafeCam said not all the five people killed or seriously injured since the cameras were installed had been in speed-related accidents but added the organisation wanted to road casualties reduced to "zero".

Figures from Suffolk Safecam last month showed 5,500 drivers were issued with a speeding ticket in parts of the county in a two-and-a-half month period – an average of about 500 a week.

The average speeding fine is £60 and if the same number of drivers were issued tickets every week for the rest of the year, the figure would equate to £1.5 million.

Jeffrey Bowden, chairman of Haughley Parish Council said: " Local people approve of the cameras at Haughley and this considerable reduction in accidents announced by Suffolk SafeCam is excellent news."

Suffolk SafeCam's website, www.suffolksafecam.co.uk, shows the location of all the fixed camera sites and is updated weekly with mobile enforcement locations.

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