Police to switch back on 52 speed cameras


- Credit: Archant

MOTORISTS in North Somerset could see speed cameras in the district switched back on by the end of the year.

Avon and Somerset Chief Constable Nick Gargan and Superintendent Ian Smith are determined to reactivate the 52 cameras in the force area in the hope it will lower the number of fatalities.

The machines, which catch speeding motorists or those who jump red lights, were switched off in 2010 and amount to more than £2million worth of equipment which officers do not want to waste in the Avon and Somerset area.

Supt Smith said: “If the running costs can be met by speeding motorists, and as a result of that fewer people are involved in collisions, then there has to be merit in exploring the options to reactivate.

“We believe combining static cameras with our existing mobile speed enforcement units would provide the best way of influencing driver behaviour.

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“Education is critical if we are to really change behaviour, and taking education as an alternative to prosecution - due to being caught speeding - has merit in its own right.”

Each static camera costs around £5,000 a year to operate and this figure would fall on the relevant local authority, as they are owned by the councils not police.

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But Supt Smith has offered a solution to this, by offering back office support for any prosecutions.

He said: “We are offering this support if they (the local authorities) turn them back on and maintain them.

“Most importantly it is not going to cost the local authority and would be paid for by those people who are speeding. And if people are driving slower because of it then that’s worth it.”

The police are now in talks with North Somerset Council to make the static cameras active once again.

He added: “A decision by local authorities with the police concerning reactivation is likely to occur before the end of the year.”

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