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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 November, 2003, 14:35 GMT
Thousands caught on speed cameras
Four cameras now monitor Belfast's busiest roads
More than 6,000 drivers in Northern Ireland have been caught on speed cameras since July, the police have said.

The figures were revealed on Thursday as a fourth fixed speeding camera was unveiled in the province, at one of Belfast's busiest roads.

Speed accounts for one in four of all road deaths in the province, with 139 fatalities to date this year.

But in areas where cameras have already been placed, speeding has been reduced, the police said.

The fourth fixed camera has been be sited at the Springfield Road in west Belfast.

The Northern Ireland Safety Camera Scheme was set up in the summer with three fixed cameras placed on roads in Belfast, and 80 mobile cameras used at accident blackspots.

Superintendent Ian Hamill, head of the PSNI's Road Policing branch, said the aim was to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on the roads.

Speed is the biggest killer on our roads - that is a shameful situation
Ian Hamill
PSNI

"While, tragically, more people have been killed on our roads so far this year than for the same period last year, there has been a significant reduction of just over 16% in the number of serious injuries," he said.

"That accounts for 184 fewer people being injured seriously."

Supterintendent Hamill added: "Speed is the biggest killer on our roads. That is a shameful situation.

"It is all the more shameful because it is avoidable. We want to ensure that the driving public comes to view it as shameful as drink-driving.

Research shows that a reduction in speed leads to a reduction in crashes."

Speed cameras already monitor traffic on the Saintfield Road, Newtownards Road and Antrim Road in Belfast.

The police claim a fixed camera on the Saintfield Road has dramatically reduced speeding.

'Identified hotspots'

Prior to the camera being installed, a survey showed that two thirds of motorists were driving at, or above, the speed limit, but after the camera was set up only one in 10 broke the speed limit.

An ongoing roll-out of fixed cameras is planned and the police have pledged enforcement at more than 80 locations, which have a history of collisions and evidence of speeding.

Statistics show that 80% of fatal car crashes involving speeding in Northern Ireland are caused by men between the ages of 17 and 24.

Money received from speeding fines will be used on extending the camera scheme at what police describe as "clearly identified hotspots".

The camera scheme is a partnership between the Police Service of Northern Ireland and a number of government departments and agencies.


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC NI's Ita Dungan reports
"Police say the money recouped from offenders will be reinvested into extending the scheme"



SEE ALSO:
Clampdown on speeding drivers
20 Jun 03  |  Northern Ireland
Police clamp down on drink drivers
18 Feb 03  |  Northern Ireland
Small drop in drink-driving figures
18 Dec 02  |  Northern Ireland
Drink drive campaign targets youth
04 Jul 01  |  Northern Ireland


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