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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 June 2007, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Call for less visible speed traps
Generic picture of a Gatso camera next to a busy road
Meredydd Hughes said less obvious cameras would catch more drivers
The introduction of "less conspicuous" speed cameras should be considered by police as a way of slowing drivers down, a senior officer has said.

Meredydd Hughes, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) head of road policing said it was "strange" the cameras were easily identified.

Currently speed cameras have yellow panels and are clearly signposted.

Mr Hughes, the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire, said less obvious cameras would catch more rogue drivers.

There is currently no legal requirement for speed cameras to be made visible and a speeding offence is not invalidated if they are not.

The latest Department for Transport guidance recommends speed cameras should be yellow, marked with warning signs and only sited at accident black spots.

Flouting law

Mr Hughes said: "There is no call for a change in policy or the law with regards to the use of hidden speed cameras.

"The point is that a greater compliance with speed limits could come with the use of such technology.

"The police service as a whole carries out operations to target burglars and thieves and we don't announce it to the world, so by using speed cameras that aren't so easily seen we can catch those drivers who think that flouting the law is a badge of honour and it is those motorists who speed and cause a danger to others on the roads.

"There are a minority of drivers who only slow down when they see a speed camera and it is this group of people who will only comply with the law if they are at risk of being caught speeding at any time because they cannot see the cameras."

A spokeswoman for the RAC Foundation, an independent charity which looks out for the interests of motorists, said they had concerns about the idea.

"We were in favour of cameras being conspicuous, the sight of the cameras warns motorists of accident black spots, meaning they should take more care.

"They also serve a dual function ... in that they are a visible deterrent.

"Making cameras less visible would, in our view, be a backward step ... they would take away the warning element.

"Hidden cameras would reinforce the view held by some motorists that cameras are revenue raisers."




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