07/08/2006

Cameras launched to crack down on speeders

The PSNI are launching a campaign to crack down on speeding motorists who slow down before they are captured on camera.

The Speed Enforcement Camera System (Specs) is to be officially launched today on the main Newry to Belfast Road, and will be the first time the Specs system has been used in Northern Ireland.

The new camera set up, which measures the average speed of vehicles is to be set up around the city of Newry, in a bid to catch motorists who alter their speed when approaching the sites where they know that fixed cameras are situated.

The new speed enforcement camera system will enable road safety authorities to monitor speeds over a longer distance.

Digital safety cameras are to be deployed in pairs between two fixed points, miles apart, to monitor the average speed of approaching vehicles.

As they pass between the cameras, their speed and time it takes to pass between both points will be recorded in order to calculate the driver's average speed.

If the limit is exceeded, then a speeding violation record is automatically generated.

Speed cameras have been installed at points in Sheepbridge and the Mourne Country Roundabout and on the A1 dual carriageway used by traffic heading into Newry from Belfast.

Digital cameras, have also been erected between the Cloghue roundabout leaving the city and the border with the Irish Republic, covering a distance of 1.8 miles.

Signs have been erected on the routes, warning drivers they are entering an average speed zone.

Earlier today, Assistant Chief Constable Roy Toner told BBC news that the aim of the system was to deter motorists from speeding.

He said: "The primary objective is to save lives - there have been 15 people killed on that stretch of road over the last five years.

"A road death costs £1.25m to the Northern Ireland economy. Nevermind the heartache to the family and friends of the deceased - the idea is that we will slow people down and save lives."

(EF/SP)

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