31 March 2006
850 YARDS OF ROAD.. SIX SPEED CAMERAS
By Victoria Ward
SPEEDING on this road could get you banned and landed with £360 in fines in a matter of minutes.
SIX speed cameras have been set up on a half-mile stretch and police are sitting back to watch the cash roll in.
The overkill means motorists with no previous convictions could find themselves with 18 penalty points - and no licence - if they go over 30mph.
Anti-speed camera campaigners hit out after mobile speed traps were placed just yards from fixed cameras.
Drivers already dodging four cameras - two in each direction - yesterday hit out at "greedy" camera operators.
One said: "Not content with being able to get you twice on your way to work and twice on your way back, they want another bite of the cherry.
"These so-called safety camera partnerships are clearly just cashing in, knowing that people who use the road regularly are not going to be caught out by the fixed cameras, and so won't be giving them any money."
Other motorists suggested doubling up fixed and mobile cameras indicated the fixed cameras did not work.
Neil Hader said: "It probably means that the fixed ones are dummies.
"That means when I drive along here I won't have to worry about them."
Paul Smith, founder of anti-camera group Safe Speed Road Safety Campaign said: "Camera overkill like this can only serve to increase public hostility.
"There's a particular problem called 'race away' where motorists angered by speed cameras accelerate relatively quickly after they have passed the camera. In Wales there have been a number of deaths where motorcyclists have sped away and been killed on the next bend, which all goes to show how ineffective these crude devices are.
"We have had to live around speed cameras for 10 years now and there is still no sign of a change in behaviour, only growing resentment."
He said vehicle-activated signs that warn drivers they are travelling too fast were more effective, cheaper to run and gained public support.
Dan Campsall, of Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership, responsible for the cameras on Langley Hill in Reading, Berks, said he did not know whether all the cameras were operational, but conceded they might not be.
He said: "We have a lot of camera sites, many not loaded all of the time.
"In support of these sites we do opt to do mobile enforcement on occasions rather than loading the cameras."
Mr Campsall said cameras targeted sites with high road casualty rates.
He added: "Langley Hill has been the scene of seven collisions in three years, resulting in eight casualties."
A NEW "bulk processing centre" will take over the handling of minor motoring offenders and TV licence dodgers from magistrates' courts within months, Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer said last night.
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