New cameras for blackspots
By Diana Pilkington

New digital speed cameras are to be installed in five speeding hotspots in Merton to try to reduce accidents.

Traditional Gatso speed cameras will be replaced by new technology on priority spots where 37 people were killed or seriously injured in the past three years.

The first site, on Morden Road by Dorset Road, has been prioritised because eight people were killed or badly hurt there over a three-year period.

New cameras will also be installed on Church Road by Miles Road and Lewis Road, on London Road by Crusoe Road and on Parkside by Somerset Road.

Tom Duckham, of the London Safety Camera Partnership (LSCP), said: "The LSCP has already achieved a 50 per cent reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured at sites where are cameras have been installed.

"We anticipate these new cameras will help to reduce this figure further."

Much smaller than the Gatso, these new cameras will transmit images directly to a central police processing centre.

Their camera houses will be painted yellow and will sit on tall poles to deter vandals.

Although speed cameras often attract anger from drivers lumbered with fines, road safety charity RoadPeace applauds the move.

A RoadPeace spokesman said: "We are working with the LSCP to ensure that we highlight the good side of road safety cameras the fact that they save lives. They can get such a negative response from a minority of motorists. But there are thousands of people walking around today who would not be there if it weren't for these cameras. They are life savers."

The charity plans to put up memorials, known as "Remember Me" signs, alongside speed cameras.

The spokesman added: "We want to remind people that road cameras are a memorial.

"For the camera to have been installed, deaths or serious injuries would have occurred at that site."

12:21pm today