Published on 07/08/2006

Police will launch a new hi-tech offensive against speeding motorists on both sides of the border who slow down before they are captured on camera.

A new type of speed camera will be deployed around the border city of Newry to catch drivers who have tended to slow down on sections of roads where they know fixed cameras are situated. The new speed enforcement camera system will enable road safety chiefs to monitor speeds over a longer period.

Digital safety cameras are deployed in pairs between two fixed points, miles apart, to monitor the average speed of a car, bus or lorry.

As vehicles pass between the cameras they are digitally recorded and the time it takes to travel between both points is used to calculate motorists' average speed.

If someone exceeds the limit, a speeding violation record is automatically generated.

Cameras have been installed at points in Sheepbridge and the Mourne Country Roundabout on the A1 dual carriageway used by traffic heading into Newry from Belfast.

They will cover a distance of 2.2 miles.

Digital cameras, mounted on yellow poles, have also been erected between the Cloghue roundabout leaving the city and the border with the Irish Republic, covering a distance of 1.8 miles.

Signs have been erected on the routes, warning drivers they are entering an average speed zone.

There are also plans in place to introduce the cameras later this year on the A2 between Holywood and Bangor in Co Down.

Northern Ireland's first fixed speed cameras were introduced in Belfast in July 2003.

Police believe they have had some effect on motorists but believe more stringent measures are required to tackle speeding.

In April last year speed indication displays were also deployed in the greater Belfast area.

The devices track drivers from up to 100 metres away and flash up their speed on a screen by the side of the road as a warning.

PSNI officers have also set up speed traps across Northern Ireland to detect offenders as part of Operation Roadsafe which replaced Operation Viper.
by David Gordon