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Are speeding drivers finally getting the message? Three-year low for Orwell Bridge cameras

PUBLISHED: 05:30 24 February 2019 | UPDATED: 08:21 24 February 2019

Suffolk's police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore expressed his shock at the number of speeders caught on the A14 and A12 in 2018 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk's police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore expressed his shock at the number of speeders caught on the A14 and A12 in 2018 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Drivers may finally be getting the message, Suffolk's crime chief has said as the number of motorists snapped speeding on the Orwell Bridge plunged to a three-year low.

The number of people caught speeding over the A14 Orwell Bridge fell to a three-year low in January 2019 Picture: LUCY TAYLORThe number of people caught speeding over the A14 Orwell Bridge fell to a three-year low in January 2019 Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Just over 150 people were clocked exceeding the 60mph limit last month – the lowest ever figure for January.

In the same month last year 200 were caught even with one of the cameras being broken, and in January 2017 297 were snapped speeding.

Fixed cameras went live on the bridge in July 2016, and since then almost 14,000 drivers have been caught speeding.

Last year, the number remained constant despite one of the westbound cameras being out of action after it was damaged in a crash.

And despite a fall this January, Mr Passmore has warned too many are still flouting the law.

“A three-year low is good news and if this trend continues then it seems that at long last the message is resonating with many more motorists but obviously too many are still flouting the law,” he said.

When he heard the total number of drivers snapped over the bridge in 2018 – and snared by cameras on the A12 between East Bergholt and Stratford St Mary in the same year – Mr Passmore admitted to being “shocked” and added: “I have not a shred of sympathy for those who are caught driving dangerously so the answer is very simple – stick to the limits then there will be no problem.”

The cameras on the bridge are there for a reason, he said.

“It is so important to keep the road moving as we all know the pandemonium any hold-up on the bridge causes,” Mr Passmore added.

“The answer is very simple – stick to the limits then there will be no problem.”

Figures published by Suffolk police last month revealed 13,694 speeding motorists were caught by average speed cameras on the A14 Orwell Bridge and A12 between East Bergholt and the Essex border in 2018.

Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, head of the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Armed Policing Team, said: “Speeding is one of the ‘fatal four’ offences which makes you more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a collision alongside drink driving, driving whilst using a mobile phone and not wearing a seatbelt.

“Speed limits shouldn’t be seen as a target – they are in place for a reason and the limit is set at the maximum safe speed to travel on a particular stretch of road.

“There are always other factors to consider including other road users, levels of traffic and weather.”

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