Horton: ‘No promises’ on speed cameras

By Sam Strangeways

Much work still has to be done before speed cameras can be installed on Bermuda’s roads, a Minister has admitted.
Randy Horton, Minister of Labour, Home Affairs and Public Safety, told The Royal Gazette he could make no promises in terms of when cameras would be permanently introduced – despite three cameras from the US being tested by Police on the Island last weekend.
Mr. Horton said: “I’m not going to make any promises in terms of time. I would like to see them in place as soon as possible but there is still much to be done.”
Police experimented with three cameras on Frog Lane, East Broadway and the Botanical Gardens.
Force spokesman Dwayne Caines said the testing was a success: “The Bermuda Police Service is in the process, in the early stages, of looking into speed cameras and their use in Bermuda,” he said.
“We just wanted to see whether or not the cameras actually function in Bermuda. We are happy to report that the cameras work very well in our environment.
“However, we must reiterate we are still in the beginning stages and we are exploring the possibilities that exist with speed cameras. Legislation still has to support the speed cameras. We are still awaiting the final legislation to be put in place.”
He said the aim of the tests was to ensure the cameras could pick up number plates on all vehicles, including mopeds, and during both day and night.
Mr. Caines added: “I actually had the occasion to see the pictures in the night and in the day and the pictures are clear. You can make out clearly all the numbers on the licence plates.”
Mr. Horton, who has visited Washington to see how speed cameras there operate, said an amendment would need to be made to the law to enable the use of cameras in Bermuda.
He said: “I don’t want to speak to specifically on the law but I know that we are going to have to make some changes. There is also the issue of being able to identify people driving on the pictures. The whole idea of the cameras is two-fold. One is to stop people from speeding and to catch people who are speeding and more importantly it’s to change the culture on the road.”
He said he could not say when the cameras would be introduced. But $500,000 has been approved in next year’s budget for the speed camera programme.
Mr. Horton said: “There are still some issues that have to be resolved in terms of what happens after the car goes through the speed camera. Also what it’s going to cost. We’ll be busy working on this in the next few weeks.”
He added that the cameras would not be hidden but clearly signed on roads.
Opposition transport spokesman Jamahl Simmons said the UBP supported the introduction of speed cameras and would be interested to see what progress was made.
“I think the Government has been promising it for a number of years. It’s a question I guess of commitment. It’s getting close to an election; they have to start fulfilling their promises some time.”