Saturday, November 3, 2012
Norwich’s most notorious speed trap caught more motorists in the first nine months of this year than in the whole of last year - despite speed limit signs being moved to give drivers more warning.
The speed camera on the city-bound side of Dereham Road was set-off 2,485 times from January to September, compared to 2,319 times in 2011 when it was the second most triggered camera in Norwich.
With speeding fines costing £60, the camera, near the junction with Norwich Road in Costessey, would have raked in around £150,000 so far this year.
Today, one councillor said the camera was in the “wrong” position.
In August it caught 360 people, according to the figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
And the constant rise in motorists being caught – up 54pc from 2009 – has continued despite a 30mph warning sign being moved further away from the camera to warn drivers, coming into Norwich.
The move came in the wake of a court case in February 2011 when BMW driver Barry Egerton took his speeding fine to Norwich Magistrates’ Court, protesting that the 30mph sign leading up to the camera was “all but invisible”.
The 78-year-old of Eden Close, Thorpe St Andrew, also protested that the there were 12 signs and lampposts around the camera, partially obscuring it from sight.
Mr Egerton lost the case, but insisted the sign had to be moved.
He said: “The 30mph sign was located in a cluttered filling station forecourt surrounded by bright multi-coloured lights, effectively camouflaging the sign only 20 metres from traffic lights.”
Norfolk County councillor for Costessey, Tim East, said the camera was in an “entirely inappropriate” place.
“Speed cameras should be put in place to improve road safety, not to catch people out,” he said. “If the camera is catching a lot of people then the deterrent is not working.”
Police targeted speeding on Dereham Road as an accident blackspot, after figures showed its accident rate was three times the national average.
A Norfolk Constabulary spokesman said: “Norfolk officers work with partners to use a variety of methods to reduce speeding and the number of casualties on Norfolk roads and safety cameras are just one tool that are used.
“Safety camera sites are identified through detailed analysis of collision history or as a result of community concerns.
“The money obtained is used to fund the work of the Safety Camera Partnership and road safety initiatives involving the education of target groups such as young drivers and motorcyclists with the aim of reducing the number of collisions on the county’s roads.”
•What do you think of speed cameras? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email email@example.com
•Do you have a story about Costessey for the Evening News? Contact reporter Tom Bristow on 01603772313.