Number of speeders cut by half as message from Orwell Bridge hits home

Average speed cameras on the A14 by the Orwell Bridge.

Average speed cameras on the A14 by the Orwell Bridge.

The number of speeding motorists caught on the Orwell Bridge was more than halved in January as the message about the new 60mph limit finally seems to be getting home.

The number caught speeding during the month was 297 – down from 629 in December.

That compares with a high of 1,699 motorists caught speeding in July – the first month during which Suffolk Police were able to prosecute motorists caught speeding over the bridge by the average speed cameras.

During that first month the cameras were catching an average of 55 motorists a day speeding. In January that had come down to less than 10 drivers a day.

The reduction was welcomed by Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore who said the trend over the months since the cameras have been switched on has been consistent.

He said: “These latest figures are very pleasing although there were still nearly 300 drivers who ignored the speed limit so there is still work to do.

“The important thing is that we remember why those limits are there. It is to make the road safer by reducing the speeds that drivers are travelling on that section of the road. It is to prevent accidents and injuries – and to prevent the disruption that an accident can cause.”

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Mr Passmore said that once the speed limit and cameras had been in place for a year Highways England would look at the statistics for the Orwell Bridge to see how they compared with past years.

He said: “I think that we have seen fewer accidents causing disruption for the town – but that is just a feeling at this stage, we’ll have to wait for the report at the end of the year.”

The fastest illegal speed recorded in January was 95mph.

Inspector David Giles from Suffolk Police said: “These figures are encouraging and show that the message may be getting through.

“While 297 is still a fair number of people speeding, it is significantly down on the figures from the first two months where well over 1,000 people were exceeding the 60mph limit. It is also a tiny percentage of those using the bridge over the course of a month, and it is pleasing to see that the vast majority of motorists are respecting the limit.

“This is a safety issue – the restriction is there to try to prevent road casualties and to reduce collisions on the bridge.

“Excess speed is one of the ‘fatal four’ offences, along with mobile phone use, not wearing seatbelts and drink/ drug driving, that are known contributory factors in fatal and serious injury collisions and, as the difference of a few miles per hour can mean the difference between life and death, we would urge all drivers to adhere to the limit on the road they are driving on.”

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