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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 2 April, 2003, 05:34 GMT 06:34 UK
Fines pay for more cameras
speed camera
Up to 20 extra speed cameras are to be introduced
Motorists in Tyne and Wear and Northumberland will see more speed cameras at accident black spots.

Fines from 46 cameras are to be used to buy more cameras for areas where there have been deaths or serious injuries.

A further 12 cameras are being introduced immediately in an attempt to reduce the number of road tragedies.

Councils in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear have joined forces with Northumbria Police in the programme to dramatically reduce the number of traffic accidents.

The Northumbria Safety Camera Partnership (NSCP) - which includes the five Tyne and Wear councils, Northumberland County Council and Northumbria Police - will make greater use of speed and red light cameras to persuade speeding motorists to observe the speed limits.

'Improve road safety'

The partnership is paid for by a new government scheme, which allows local authorities to use income generated from speeding fines to recover costs and invest in more cameras.

The partnership, which also includes court officials, the Highways Agency, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trusts and the University of Newcastle, is administered by Gateshead Council.

John Bann, head of transport strategy for Gateshead Council, said: "All the local authorities involved have a clear goal to improve road safety as well as an obligation to meet the government's casualty reduction targets.

"All the evidence shows that speed cameras have the desired effect on driver behaviour.

"On average, about 700 deaths or serious injuries occur on the region's roads every year, so its clear we have an important job to do.

Speed camera offences

"Safety cameras have worked well as part of road safety initiatives elsewhere in the UK and we are confident this new strategy will work here, too.

"By ploughing the income generated by fines back into speed enforcement, we will make life tougher for those who break the law."

Local authorities will monitor accident statistics and use them to identify areas where new cameras can be placed.

The partnership says it expects a fourfold increase in the number of speed camera offences to be processed by the Northumbria Police ticket office.

In 2002 it handled more than 25,000 camera offences.

The government says local authorities and the police must deliver a 40% reduction in casualties in road collisions, a 50% reduction in child casualties, by 2010.

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