Speed camera increase in Suffolk

NUMBERS of speed camera sites in Suffolk are set to increase by nearly 25 per cent to just under 100, it was revealed today.The move is part of a continued effort to make the county's roads safer and to cut accidents.

NUMBERS of speed camera sites in Suffolk are set to increase by nearly 25 per cent to just under 100, it was revealed today.

The move is part of a continued effort to make the county's roads safer and to cut accidents.

It will see a new fixed camera set up in Fore Hamlet, Ipswich, with 17 other mobile locations introduced from Friday.

Landseer Road, Ellenbrook Road and London Road, Ipswich will be included, as will Felixstowe Road, Nacton, and Trinity Avenue and High Road, in Felixstowe.

Terry Marsh, project manager for Suffolk SafeCam, the group responsible for speed enforcement in the county, said: "The number of casualties killed or seriously injured fell by 80pc last year at existing camera sites.

"If this dramatic reduction continues at the new sites, we can expect the number of casualties to fall from 24 per year to five per year.

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"We know from the speed surveys undertaken there are significant problems at the new sites. In some cases, more than two thirds of drivers were exceeding the speed limit and this obviously contributes to the number of crashes and the severity of the injuries sustained."

Currently, there are nine fixed and 69 mobile camera sites in the county. This will rise to ten fixed and 86 mobile.

Last year, 48,000 people were caught speeding in Suffolk.

Along with the 34 other speed management partnerships in the country, Suffolk Safecam helped generate a £20.4m profit for the Treasury.

But Suffolk SafeCam stressed the cameras are designed to reduce accidents and are not a money-making ploy.

Suffolk police has welcomed the introduction of the new sites, but stressed they do not replace officers on patrol.

Chief inspector Alan Pawsey said: "It's important to remember Suffolk SafeCam's activities are in addition to those of Suffolk Constabulary, not instead of.

"This allows our traffic officers to focus on other aspects of dangerous driving, such as driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. If drivers stick to the speed limits, they're less likely to be involved in a collision and our roads will be safer for everyone."

Motoring organisation RAC said they view speed cameras as "part of the solution" to problems on the roads.

Peter Hodgson, of the group, said: "Speed cameras do work in a very localised way and they can help in areas with serious traffic problems.

"But they are only part of the solution. We would still push for more traffic police. Speed cameras can only check for one thing."

Peter Gunstone, president of the Ipswich and district group of advanced motorists, said he respects enforcement tactics but questioned the county's speed limits.

He said: "My own feeling is that with the current speed limit set up in Suffolk, it's becoming very difficult for people, especially those in business, to make reasonable progress to fulfil their day's business.

"I think the county council needs to look more objectively at the subject of speed limits because they are a cause of frustration."

A spokesman for Motorists Against Detection criticised the placement on the cameras on busy roads.

He added: "An accident is an accident. I think it's difficult to prove speed is the cause in all cases."

What do you think of speed cameras? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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