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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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Cameras catch 33,000 drivers a year speeding in Cumbria

More than 33,000 speeding cases were caught on camera in Cumbria last year.

And the busy A66 – linking the east and west of the county – was the road on which mobile cameras were most commonly deployed.

Road safety experts say they remain appalled at the number of drivers speeding in the county, the equivalent of 90 a day.

The number of deaths and serious injuries on Cumbria’s roads has dropped dramatically in the last decade and efforts continue to ensure that this figure falls further and to educate drivers about the dangers of speeding.

Cumbria Road Safety Partnership operates the four camera vans that patrol the county.

In the 2010/11 financial year, they detected 33,058 offences, down slightly on the 33,123 in the previous 12 months. Figures released to The Cumberland News also show that in each of the two years the vans were operational for 362 days a year – virtually every day.

Kevin Tea, who heads the safety cameras team, described the number of speeders caught as “appalling”, adding: “It should be a lot less.

“The role of safety cameras is not to catch people speeding and make money for the Government, but to change people’s attitudes to speeding and reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.”

Statistics show that this aim is being met. In 2000, 53 people died on Cumbria’s roads. Last year, that number had fallen to 30.

Serious injuries have also reduced during the same period, from 437 to 194.

Roads on which the safety cameras were deployed over the last two years were the A66, A6 – which runs the length of the county to and from Carlisle – A595 linking Carlisle and west Cumbria, A65 towards Kendal and the M6 motorway.

In line with national policy, the focus of Cumbria’s safety cameras is now not enforcement and punishment, but more education.

Instead of penalty points on their driving licences and fines, those caught can now take part in half-day speed awareness courses, promoting speed awareness and the consequences of speeding.

“This isn’t finger-wagging. People come away feeling positive. They’re not treated like juveniles,” Mr Tea said.

Safety cameras were introduced to Cumbria in 2003. The times and roads on which the cameras were deployed used to be publicised. Drivers became familiar with where they could find them, slowing down when they reached camera sites before speeding up again.

Now, the sites are not revealed in advance.

Mr Tea added: “Random road checks are working. A great thing is that we can be reactive. We can react quickly to community concerns.

“If we find high speeds through traffic surveys we can establish a site quickly.

“We’re working with the community. We’ve even had people offer the driveway of their houses as sites.”

Seventeen people have died on Cumbria’s roads so far this year.

Have your say

My point would be that these cameras are revenue generators place not where safety is an issue but where they are most likely to catch more people. I've been driving since I was 17. I'm 54 now, and until August this year I'd never had a point on my license. I've never had an accident. In the last few months I've had 3 speeding tickets, all for doing 34 - 36mph in a 30 zone. If I do cause an accident or run someone over - heaven forbid - it will probably be because instead of concentrating on actually driving safely I'm trying to read all the signs and spot the frequency of lamp posts etc to keep up with the ever changing speed limits as I drive along. All three tickets I picked up were just a hundred or so yards inside a 30 zone as I slowed down - the vans always seem to wait in such places. I live in a rural location and a car is essential - kids need ferrying about etc - and now I'm two tickets away from a ban and reluctant to drive anywhere!

Posted by SR on 11 December 2012 at 11:19

Hi, I work around Cumbria and the Lakes and on average see one of your vans each day. I have no issue with what they are trying to do, indeed the reduced death rates speak for themselves. That said what I do have an issue with is the number of drivers I see dawdling along and get stuck behind , not because they are obeying the speed limits or driving with care, it is because they are on their mobile making a call. My question is can these cameras zoom in on drivers and if they are on their mobile take the picture and prosecute accordingly?

SJS

Posted by SS on 16 November 2011 at 12:21

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