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Police unveil new tool to cut road casualties


12:00am 29th June 2011

North Yorkshire Police are ramping up their casualty reduction drive with the launch of a six-month mobile safety camera pilot.

Motorists across the county are being urged to drive carefully and within the speed limits as a van equipped with a safety camera enforcement system takes to the roads.

With the backing of the '95 Alive' York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership, the force will operate the cameras from within a highly visible police van to enforce the speed limits on routes with a history of serious and fatal collisions, or where speed has been a identified as a problem.

There will be a particular emphasis on the problem of dangerous motorcycle riders, with the intention of making a significant impact on a major casualty problem in the county.

Despite high-profile education and enforcement campaigns over several years, 20 bikers died on the county's roads during 2010. This is simply unacceptable.  

Casualty data has also revealed that excessive or inappropriate speed has been responsible for 24% of all road deaths in North Yorkshire over the past three years.

The camera technology used within the van can detect the speed of approaching and receding traffic from up to 1,000 metres away and captures 360 degree images of the location. The device is particularly effective at detecting motorcycles and produces high-quality images of vehicles and the riders or drivers.

The camera can also detect mobile phone and seatbelt offences.

Tim Madgwick, North Yorkshire Police's temporary Deputy Chief Constable, who is also the chair of the "95 Alive" partnership, said:

"The decision by North Yorkshire Police to introduce the safety cameras in the area is first and foremost about reducing deaths and serious injury on our roads.

"There has been much criticism of safety cameras over the years. However, my message to those who are against them is: Stop and think about the 36 people who have been killed on our roads over the last three years because of excessive or inappropriate speed. Not to mention the hundreds who have been injured.

"It is a fact that speed kills, no ifs or buts about it, and we are determined to reduce the casualty toll on our roads.  

"The simple advice is - don't speed, you will not be caught and our roads will be safer."

Mr Madgwick added:

"Safety cameras are a first for North Yorkshire Police, being the only area in the country not to have fixed or mobile cameras. We are confident that this new development will help us to drive down deaths and serious injuries further. This will enable us to build on the relentless casualty reduction work already carried out under the "95 Alive" partnership.

"Mobile safety cameras have made a big impact on casualty reduction in other areas of the country and we are looking forward to seeing the positive results in our area."

The road safety charity Brake have given their backing to the pilot, Julie Townsend, Brake's campaigns director, said:

"It's fantastic to see that North Yorkshire Police recognise the importance of speed enforcement in saving lives on our roads.

"Safety cameras are proven to act as an effective deterrent to speeding. They are an exceptionally cost effective and efficient way to slow traffic, prevent deaths and serious injuries, and make our roads safer for everyone.

"Casualty prevention has to be the bottom line in this debate; safety cameras help save families and communities the appalling devastation of losing a loved one suddenly and violently.

"Brake welcomes the introduction of mobile speed detection in North Yorkshire and the City of York as a vital step in eradicating the damage caused by speeding."

Safety cameras have played a major role in reducing road deaths and injuries in other areas of the UK and across the world. Research by the RAC Foundation shows that if all speed cameras were decommissioned you would expect to see 800 more people killed or seriously injured each year. Based on the current ratio of deaths to injuries on the roads this would equate to about 80 more deaths and 720 more serious injuries.

Those who are found to be exceeding the limit will be given a fine of £60 and three penalty points will be placed on their driving licence.

Alternatively, first-time offenders travelling marginally over the speed limit will be offered the chance to attend a Speed Awareness Course.

The course, which costs £93 to attend, educates motorists on the importance of driving safely and is proven to have a positive long-term effect on behaviour. It also means your licence is not endorsed with a speeding offence. 


The mobile camera will be in operation on Friday 1st July 2011 at the following locations:

    • A64 between Scarborough, Malton and York.
    • A171 Whitby to the Cleveland border.
    • A171 Scarborough to Whitby.
    • A169 Pickering to Whitby.
    • B1257 Helmsley to Stokesley.
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