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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 October, 2004, 18:11 GMT 19:11 UK
Driver 'may have been distracted'
Myra Nevett
Myra Nevett was fatally injured walking home
A driver who knocked down a 69-year-old woman could have been distracted by a speed camera, a coroner said.

John Pollard recorded a verdict of accidental death saying the yellow speed detector cameras could distract drivers "even momentarily".

Myra Nevett, 69, was killed after a car hit her in Disley, Stockport, Greater Manchester, on 16 December last year.

Driver Arthur Hadfield is due to face a charge of driving without due car and attention in Stockport on 24 January.

John Pollard
The driver could momentarily be distracted and concentrate on their speed instead of the road
John Pollard, Stockport coroner

Mr Pollard called on police and local authorities to review their policies on speed cameras.

"The Gatso [camera] can distract the driver. The driver could momentarily be distracted and concentrate on their speed instead of the road," he said.

"I have thought for some time that Gatso cameras, together with all the road furniture we have these days such as flashing lights and line markings, conspire to confuse many drivers and may contribute to road accidents."

Mr Pollard said although some cameras are necessary, there are too many and some are "improperly placed."

'Camera distraction'

Mrs Nevett, 69, who had been visiting a friend, was hit crossing the A6 High Lane, near her home in Disley.

Questioned by Mr Pollard, police accident investigator Pc Michael Jeffrey agreed that the cameras could distract drivers as they might concentrate on their speed rather than on the road ahead.

A street lamp was not working near the spot where Mrs Nevett crossed, and the inquest also heard other street lights were shielded by tree branches.

"In this particular area the lighting leaves much to be desired. I'm going to write to the appropriate authorities with a view to seeing whether there might be an amendment in their checking rota to ensure lights on main roads are dealt with more quickly," said Mr Pollard.


SEE ALSO:
Road death toll passes 2003 total
06 Oct 04  |  Cornwall
Speed cameras slow bridge traffic
05 Oct 04  |  South East Wales
City's speed cameras to be moved
01 Oct 04  |  Coventry/Warwickshire
Speed cameras under the spotlight
29 Sep 04  |  Bristol/Somerset


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