Speed cameras could be back on "within a couple of months" (From Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News)
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Speed cameras could be back on "within a couple of months"
4:36pm Friday 11th October 2013 in News
SPEED cameras in Somerset could be switched on ‘within a couple of months’ in a bid to curb the number of fatalities on the county’s roads.
Police say 48 people have died on the region's roads so far this year – two more than in 2012 and 16 more than in 2011 – including 19 motorcyclists, one as a pillion passenger.
Nick Gargan, the chief constable of Avon and Somerset Police, described the figures as a ‘significant concern’.
He said: “The best way to cut the number of people being killed or seriously injured is by having a deterrent.
“Part of that could be education and changing the public attitude, it could be community speed watch, officers enforcing the law, fixed speed cameras or mobile units. When I was first asked to consider speed cameras I was surprised they were not on and after looking at the evidence we found they do more good than harm.”
Mr Gargan said he was hopeful some of the county’s speed cameras will be back on in a couple of months. He is also hoping to use speed cameras on police motorbikes where they are unable to use a mobile van.
He added: “The fundamental thing is getting drivers to think about their speed because they driver error can cost the lives of other people who were driving appropriately – anyone massively exceeding the speed limit is creating danger and it is a selfish act.
“These figures just remind us that we need to continue our efforts year on year to continue to be creative and influence driver behaviour.”
Fixed speed cameras were switched off in 2011 after the government stopped funding the Safety Camera Partnership.
A spokesman for Somerset County Council, which is in charge of the county’s highways, said the decision is contrary to the advice given out in 2010.
They added: “Police told us that fixed speed cameras were not effective in reducing the speeds of drivers.
“We have asked for evidence that turning fixed speed cameras back on will protect Somerset residents and look forward to receiving this.”
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