Hidden Speed Cameras
There has been some criticism of Humberside Police recently after pictures were released of Traffic Officers concealing speed cameras in tractors and horseboxes. Humberside Police have responded saying that the cameras are there to catch motorcyclists and drivers travelling at very high speed on their rural roads in East Yorkshire, and not there to catch drivers that momentarily drive over the speed limit.
But the decision to hide these cameras seems to be at odds with Department of Transport guidelines that say that speed cameras should be visible.
Claire Sutton (RTA Team Leader at Michael Lewin Solicitors) commented that “Whilst the old Department of Transport guidelines said that cameras had to be clearly signposted, yellow and not hidden, they have run their course, and with the implementation of the Police and Crime Commissioner roles, local communities and local forces now have the power to dictate their own strategies for tackling local crime.”
Mathew Grove, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire, has been calling for the use of covert cameras to be used in and around East Yorkshire. He has confirmed that the idea is not to target drivers that just creep over the speed limit, but to catch dangerous drivers.
Claire continued, “We agree that these anti-social and seriously reckless drivers, who constantly drive over the prescribed speed limit need to be targeted. These drivers tend to know main routes and where cameras and traffic officers may be stationed, so find other routes around them, typically using rural and countryside roads.”
Police officials agree, suggesting that as dangerous drivers do go out of their way to avoid the usual camera spots then they typically go largely unchecked, and it’s these rural communities that are asking the PCC’s to do something about speeding.
Speed enforcement is highly effective at catch large numbers of drivers that drive over the speed limit by a few mph, but very ineffective at catching real dangerous and consistent reckless drivers, who shouldn’t be caught and fined, but caught and banned.
“On major routes, cameras should be clearly marked, as they act as a reminder for drivers to keep an eye on the road and to be mindful of their speed” responded Claire, “we need to remember that speed really does kill, and anything that can be done to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on the road is a good thing.”