High numbers of drivers caught speeding on Orwell Bridge
The number of drivers caught speeding westbound on the Orwell Bridge in the first two months of 2022 was nearly half of last year's total offences, figures have revealed.
The average speed camera on the A14 Orwell Bridge clocked 270 speeding motorists on the westbound carriageway in January and February alone, while only 550 were caught in the whole of 2021.
The Suffolk Constabulary figures remain high even when compared with the pre-Covid pandemic figures of 2019 - when 659 motorists were caught speeding in total during the year.
On the eastbound carriageway, 394 drivers were caught speeding in January and February - nearly a third of the 2021 total of 1,301.
In 2019, 1,352 motorists were clocked by the cameras travelling eastbound.
The average speed camera on the Orwell Bridge went live in July 2016, and the average number of injury collisions per year has dropped from 7.4 before the camera to 3.4 since installation.
On the A12 between East Bergholt and Stratford St Mary, the January and February figures equated to more than a quarter of last year's total offences in both directions.
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The average speed camera on that stretch of road caught 1,242 drivers in the first two months of 2022 - but the figures are more in line with the pre-pandemic statistics of 2019 when a total of 7,578 motorists were clocked.
The average number of injury collisions per year on the A12 between East Bergholt and Stratford St Mary has fallen from 11.4 before the camera to 5.0 now.
Tim Passmore, Suffolk's police and crime commissioner, said any increase was "disappointing to see".
"We've got to be careful comparing with last year because of lockdown and lower traffic volumes but even if we go back to years prior to lockdown, you would have thought by now with all the publicity and extra enforcement activity that people would have learnt their lessons," he said.
"I'm particularly concerned with the average speed camera areas, they are so well signposted, one has to question whether people, who have made a mistake, are actually paying attention to what they are doing in any case. It's extraordinary.
"Enforcement will continue. I would urge people to remember the limits are there for a reason, that's to keep people safe when they are travelling but also to keep the traffic flowing because we know the sheer chaos and inconvenience caused to so many people when avoidable accidents cause the road to be closed or partially closed."
He added: "I have to say, I think people who have this wanton disregard for the speed limits are extremely selfish and if they get caught, well then too bad, they deserve to get the sanctions accordingly.
"I almost despair with the attitude of a minority of motorists who think somehow the law doesn't apply to them."
Inspector Gary Miller, from Suffolk Constabulary’s roads and armed policing team, said: “The speed cameras are there to ensure the safety of all road users and reduce disruption on what are some of Suffolk’s busiest and most important road networks.
“We have seen the new 40mph speed limit introduced during high winds at the Orwell Bridge on the A14. This allows the bridge to remain open and is there for everyone’s safety.
“Please ensure you are aware of what the limit is on the day. Keep yourself safe and avoid facing unnecessary points on your license and an expensive fine."