A controversy hits Bristol. Fixed speed and red light cameras are going back on shortly, much to the consternation of aggressive local drivers. The switch-on has a few detractors to be sure. Objections to the yellow boxes are emerging, dormant since 2011. Speeding fines are sure to rise. The government is to blame for the deactivation due to lack of funding for the safety partnership. Avon and Somerset police, however, have indicated a reinstatement of the costly 52 cameras (with a value of about £2 million), noting upgrades and replacements are targeted.
Bristol has possession of 37 for evaluation of which 26 are likely candidates.Reports in the Bristol Post keep inhabitants up to date, although little information is now available. It is assumed that the red light devices will be the first to go back into operation. The public also is aware of the police department offer to purchase as many as 15 units for a nominal £1 nominal. (They belong to Somerset County which has agreed to the offer.)
Thus, the issue is in the hands of law enforcement at this time, but a date for switch-on has not been released. Martin Dunscombe, their spokesperson, says it will be gradual in the two counties. Superintendent Ian Smith notes that it is not a money-making proposition. Funding was necessary and hence the recent sale of the cameras. Lawbreaker fines will add to the financial support for their operation. Road safety will be the intended beneficiary. Cost issues seem to have a resolution allowing for the timely reactivation to supplement the use of mobile camera vans. Safety is the priority.
Apparently, the cameras are much needed. Drivers have been known to exceed speed limits with great frequency, some going almost three times beyond them. Police reports show a danger zone in Longwell Green in the past years. Details of drastic violations have come to the fore. One driver was found to be hurtling through the area at 86mph in a 30mph zone. Mobile cameras tell the tale. As if this were not enough, another case involved a whopping 125mph in a 70 zone on the A303 near Sparkford, Somerset, topping a lawbreaker going 104mph near Bromley Heath on the A4174 (a 50mph zone).
Other examples abound. It is not uncommon to see high speeds near Bath on the A46 and between junctions 20 and 19 on the M4. Some of these areas are, in fact, reduced speed zones. Flagrant violations do not seem to be abating. The cameras will no doubt help.