SPECS set to keep a watchful eye on city commuters

Click on thumbnail to view image
Click on thumbnail to view image
Click on thumbnail to view image
Click on thumbnail to view image

« Previous
« Previous
Next »
Next »

View Gallery
By Staff reporter
CONTROVERSIAL speed traps targeting fast drivers and so-called "camera surfers" are being installed on the busy and dangerous Bangor to Belfast road.
A fixed Speed Enforcement Camera System (SPECS) will be operational on the A2 commuter route by next month, and officers hope the network will slash motoring casualties.

SPECS works by deploying high-mounted digital cameras in pairs to monitor drivers’ average speeds between two fixed points so motorists are urged to stay within the speed threshold throughout the route.

If a vehicle exceeds the limit, a speeding violation record is automatically generated. Warning signs will be in place to alert drivers they will be entering an average speed zone.

The only other areas in Ulster rigged with the distinctive yellow SPECS cameras are at accident blackspots on the A1 on the Belfast to Dublin route between Sheepbridge and Newry and between the Cloghue roundabout and the border.

Police believe they are especially effective against camera surfers who are currently escaping prosecution by slowing down when they pass the location of conventional fixed cameras.

Regular users of the Bangor to Belfast road complain that there are often delays following collisions, and there have been several fatalities on the route over the last decade.

Work to lay underground cables needed to link SPECS cameras began at the A2 in January. The cost to the taxpayer will remain unconfirmed until construction is finished.

after a meeting of the North Down District Policing Partnership, where news of the project was confirmed, chairman Tony Hill said: “We’ve been pushing for this in North Down for some time. Since the system in Newry was put in place, no one has been killed in that area.

“The number killed on Northern Ireland’s roads year on year is ridiculous, and this system is just one of the tools police use to tackle it.”

A total of 76 motorists have been snared by the SPECS in the past two years on the A1 – generating notices of £4,560 in fines.

A PSNI spokesman said: “The aim of the SPECS scheme is to reduce the number of casualties through targeted speed enforcement and by encouraging drivers to change their attitude towards speeding.

“The success of the scheme is measured solely in the reduction of speed and casualties. It has nothing to do with revenue.”

See Morning View, page 14

The full article contains 405 words and appears in News Letter newspaper.
Last Updated: 05 March 2008 5:23 PM