New generation safety cameras have been installed at junctions in Cheshire in a bid to reduce the number and severity of collisions across the county.
The roadside cameras detect vehicles that go through red lights as well as those that break the speed limit at junctions.
Speeding can have fatal consequences – driving at an unsafe speed has been shown to be a contributory factor in nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of road deaths.
More than twice as many people (41) died on Cheshire’s roads and motorways last year than they did in 2017, and this year there has already been several fatal collisions in the county.
David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, said: “Road safety is one of my key priorities and I am committed to working with partners to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on Cheshire roads and motorways.
“With an increased number of serious incidents and fatalities on our roads in recent times, these cameras are needed more than ever. Law abiding drivers often report to me their shock and frustration at the number of drivers who jump red lights and break the speed limit - selfishly gambling with other people’s lives as well as their own.
“One death is too many and I hope that the new cameras will lead to more motorists adhering to the speed limits and driving responsibly, for both their own safety and the safety of others.
“It is important that people across Cheshire support efforts to reduce the amount of collisions in the county as all drivers and riders have a part to play in making our roads safer.”
Junctions represent particular dangers for motorists and pedestrians and Cheshire Road Safety Group (CRSG) hopes that its new cameras will lead to a reduction in the number of both fatal and non-fatal collisions in Cheshire.
Brian Rogers, CRSG implementation manager, said: “Far too many people have died and been seriously injured as a result of collisions on Cheshire roads in recent times.
“Cheshire Road Safety Group was set up in April 2011 to reduce the number of people killed or injured on the county’s roads by encouraging greater compliance of speed limits through the operation and maintenance of speed and safety cameras.
“Supported by contributing partners Cheshire Constabulary, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and the four local authorities in the county – Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire East Council, Halton Borough Council and Warrington Borough Council – CRSG is investing in new technologies and innovation to make our roads safer.
“Junctions in which vehicles and pedestrians come to a road from different directions are particularly dangerous and it is vital that motorists travel at an appropriate speed, one which enables them to stop safely should the colour of traffic lights change or a pedestrian step into the road.
“We hope that the new generation cameras will deter motorists from speeding and going through red lights at junctions and therefore reduce the number and severity of collisions.”
The five new camera sites in Cheshire West and Chester are at the junction of Dalefords Lane and Chester Road in Sandiway, Northwich; the A41 at Heath Road in Chester; the junction of Parkgate Road and Cheyney Road in Chester; the junction of the A5117 and Pool Lane in Elton Green and the A54 at Kelsall Hill.
Other cameras will be installed across Cheshire’s other local authority areas of Halton, Warrington and Cheshire East in the coming months.
Drivers and riders travelling at unsafe speeds – whether that be in excess of the speed limit or too fast for the conditions, for example bad weather, poor visibility or high pedestrian activity – have smaller safety margins and are more likely to crash.
Inappropriate speed also magnifies other driver errors, such as driving too close to other vehicles or driving when tired or distracted, multiplying the chances of causing an accident.
If prosecuted for speeding, the minimum penalty is a £100 fine and three penalty points.
A court may issue higher fines and disqualify a person from driving, depending on the circumstances.