Seventy a day caught speeding in Suffolk
MORE than 70 motorists a day are being caught speeding by roadside cameras in Suffolk, it has been revealed.New figures from the Suffolk Safety Camera Partnership show a total of 5,500 drivers were issued a speeding ticket in parts of the county in the past two-and-a-half months – an average of about 500 a week.
By Danielle Nuttall
MORE than 70 motorists a day are being caught speeding by roadside cameras in Suffolk, it has been revealed.
New figures from the Suffolk Safety Camera Partnership show a total of 5,500 drivers were issued a speeding ticket in parts of the county in the past two-and-a-half months – an average of about 500 a week.
The motorists were caught at fixed camera sites based on the A14 at Haughley, in Benhall and Coddenham and by two mobile cameras.
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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 £1.5million. The cash goes back into the running costs for the camera scheme and can be used to expand it.
Last night, Liberal Democrat leader Peter Monk, portfolio holder for public protection, said: "We don't want to issue speeding tickets full stop but to remind people to drive in the appropriate manner to the conditions.
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"Unfortunately, 5,500 would appear not to have done that. We are hopeful they will not do it again.
"These cameras are well advertised. It's reminding people to be more aware of what's going on around them.
"The big message is we want to get accidents reduced. We don't mind if there are not as many prosecutions. We have seen a 50% accident reduction at the Haughley bends so they certainly do work."
Suffolk police and the county council have been taking steps to improve road safety and target accident blackspots.
Earlier this year, they announced five new speed cameras were to be introduced – separate from those which caught the 5,500 motorists.
The new cameras are installed along the A140 at Brome, on the A1065 at Earl Stonham, on the A1144 at Lowestoft and the A1304 at Newmarket.
The Suffolk Safety Camera Partnership was set up to reduce casualties on the county's roads by encouraging drivers to slow down and target enforcement at sites with a record of serious or fatal accidents.
Project manager Terry Marsh said yesterday: "We expect accidents in the vicinity of these sites to be reduced by 40%. We are hopeful we will achieve this. People will see a definite improvement in road safety."
Ch Insp Alan Pawsey, of Suffolk Constabulary's traffic unit, added: "I think these sites were quite carefully chosen because they are known for the number of collisions they have had.
"Therefore we expect as a result of this to reduce the number of collisions where people are killed or seriously injured.
"I think it's making a significant contribution to reducing collisions in the areas where the cameras are sited."
The project, which has its own staff, is self-financing as running costs will be covered by income from fixed penalty notices.
The cost of setting it up will be recoverable with any surplus being returned to the Government.
Last night Simon Woodings, a spokesman for road group the AA, said: "If people are being caught then let's not forget they must have been speeding in the first instance.
"There are examples where speed limits are positioned in areas where the road doesn't warrant it such as a fairly short stretch of the road which could adequately accommodate 60mph, and the absence of residential or other such areas where motorists start to get frustrated.
"In terms of revenue, what they want to see is that money raised is used for worthwhile safety initiatives and not seen as a quick way of raising revenue not going to local authorities or the treasury."
Judith Moore, spokeswoman for Roadpeace, said motorists needed to be reminded of the importance of road safety and speeding.
She said: "We support anything that makes the roads safer and driving safer.
"People's attitudes do need to change. The fact that the cameras are catching so many people indicates that there's still a long way to go. People need to take speeding seriously and not just slow down at certain places at certain times.
"The cameras are reducing injuries and fatalities at hot spots but a lot more needs to be done. The penalties may need to go up and we also need to raise people's awareness of the importance of driving safely."