Price cut could see speed cameras here
by Nigel Baudains
SPEED cameras could come to Guernsey if a new type is approved in the UK.
The Home Department would be interested in the Spike system because it costs less, at £20,000, than other types and is portable.
�It�s something, that in light of the reduction in capital cost, we may well look at if it gets approval from the Home Office,� said Home minister Mike Torode.
�But there�s more than just the capital costs involved because somebody has to go out and collect the film, reload the cameras and organise the processing � it�s not a two-minute job.�
But he said the operation could be outsourced.
At about �20,000, the new system is much cheaper than those already in use in other jurisdictions, which can cost several hundred thousand pounds.
Hampshire-based Pips Technology has produced the new system, which uses two cameras to measure a motorist�s average speed between two points.
Deputy Torode said the resultant photograph would need to be of sufficient quality for use in court.
�And we would need to consult with other people, including the Environment Department�s traffic section,� he said.
Speed cameras have previously been ruled out on grounds of cost and local motorists soon learning of their location.
�I like the idea of having the ability to move them around so people don�t get to know where they are,� said Deputy Torode.
AA Motoring Trust head of safety Andrew Howard said the Spike system was particularly good on single-carriageway roads.
�The great advantage of these cameras is that you can use them for long, nasty, curly stretches of road, rather than picking motorists at odd points,� he said.
Pips Technology already supplies digital number plate-recognition cameras to other police forces.
Spike combines two CCTV cameras, a computer, mobile telephone, digital video recorder and power cables in the one system.
Manufacturers claim it can operate for 24 hours per day and gives reliable performance in all weathers.
Minimal installation is required and its discreet appearance has only a small impact on the surrounding environment.
It records data including vehicle registration, date, time and location and with full and contextual images.
The company was presented with the Queen�s Award for Enterprise 2005 for Innovation.