Cameras cut fatalities on danger bends

PUBLISHED: 01:36 31 January 2002 | UPDATED: 15:24 03 March 2010

SPEED cameras at a notorious accident blackspot on one of the region's major roads have proved to be "life-savers," according to a top county traffic officer.

SPEED cameras at a notorious accident blackspot on one of the region's major roads have proved to be "life-savers," according to a top county traffic officer.

Cameras were installed at the Haughley Bends on the A14, near Stowmarket, in June 2000 following a string of road collisions including several fatalities.

Latest figures for the stretch of dual carriageway show a 33 per cent fall in the number of collisions and a 50pc drop in the number of casualties since the safety measures were put into place.

The data, up to the end of November 2001, reveals that since speed cameras were introduced there were 12 collisions and 10 recorded casualties, and one fatality and 15 slight injury collisions during the period studied.

In nearly two-and-a-half years before the equipment was installed there was an annual average of 18 collisions and 20 casualties. During this time there were four fatalities and 11 serious injury road collisions and a total of 91 people injured according to the Suffolk Constabulary's Traffic Management team.

Insp Mark Quinton, from the force traffic unit based at Bury St Edmunds, said the message was clear from the figures.

"It's early days so to speak, but there has been a dramatic reduction largely due to the fact that the public are sticking to the speed limit.

"There have been drivers speeding between the cameras but we have employed the mobile ones. On the whole we are very pleased, they are lifesavers," he said.

"Over the period since the cameras were put in there has been one fatal and that was a pedestrian."

Mr Quinton added that the figures proved the cameras have reduced the speed of traffic and increased driver reaction time, reducing the number of collisions along the road.

David Evans, mid-Suffolk district councillor for Haughley and Wetherden, described the results as encouraging.

"They have undoubtedly made a massive impact on the number of accidents. But the difficulty is the large volumes of traffic that is still backing up and which grows at peak times."

Suffolk police currently has its only four fixed cameras at Haughley but it has three mobile speed cameras plus hand held units used by traffic officers.

Temporary or truvelo-type cameras have been seen on Long Road, Lowestoft, on the B1456 at Chelmodiston - just before the school and about 2000 yards after the 30mph sign on the inbound side of the road to the village.

Temporary cameras have also been seen in Ipswich on Foxhall Road - just before the speedway stadium heading out of town - and on Landseer Road - just before the oil pumping station - and on A143 on the Bury St Edmunds side of Great Barton.

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