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Monday, 13 August, 2001, 11:00 GMT 12:00 UK
Mobile cameras reduce road deaths
Speed camera warning sign
Thousands of speeding tickets were issued last year
A pilot scheme allowing Northamptonshire police to keep cash raised from speed camera fines has helped reduce the number of accidents on the county's roads.

Five high-profile mobile camera vehicles and 18 fixed-site cameras, painted blue to make them stand out, were introduced on 1 April last year.

Since the Safety Camera Project was introduced, the number of people killed or seriously injured at fixed camera sites has dropped by 67%.

The number of motorists breaking the speed limit at the sites has fallen from 73% to just 7%.

Reduced costs

The number of road casualties across the county has dropped from 745 a year to 640.

Superintendent John Feavyour said: "We want to thank motorists who have slowed down and helped us reduce casualties across the county's roads.

"The reduction of 105 casualties is excellent news. However we still have some way to go, 640 casualties on our roads last year is still far too many."

old-style speed cameras
Old-style speed cameras were easy to avoid

Police have estimated that the drop in the number of casualties has saved the community 23m in terms of reduced emergency service costs, long term medical costs, loss of earnings and reduced grief and suffering.

A total of 82,127 speeding tickets were issued in the first year of the project and it is hoped that fewer tickets will be issued this year.

Superintendent Feavyour said: "In the second year of the Safety Camera Project we will continue to focus on excessive and inappropriate speed by targeting the location where there are known problems with speeding."

Average speed

Phil Davies, Safety Camera Project manager, added: "We publicise where the safety cameras are on a daily basis, and the safety reasons for them.

"Although the number of safety cameras will be increasing by 11 in the second year of the project, we hope that we will be issuing fewer tickets as people realise the benefits of slowing down."

The safety cameras do not require any film and are very cheap to maintain.

They track vehicles' average speed and then send a photograph of the offending cars to a police computer.

They can photograph the number plate of the vehicle, electronically check who owns it, and send out the penalty notice.

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