Ten new digital speed cameras to be switched on in Birmingham and Solihull
Speed cameras are set to be switched back on at 10 sites across Birmingham and Solihull next year in a £1 million trial.
Birmingham City Council is workingalongside colleagues in Solihull and West Midlands Police to introduce digital cameras at sites where obsolete “wet film” cameras were switched off last April.
Seven of the new cameras will be funded and placed in Birmingham, at a cost of £600,000.
A further three will be placed in Solihull, which is spending £400,000 on the scheme.
Each of the local authorities will also get one average-speed enforcement camera each.
All 305 of the region’s fixed speed and traffic light cameras were controversially turned off by West Midlands Police in March 2013.
Since then, speed enforcement operations have been carried out by four mobile police camera units, fixed cameras on motorways and traffic officers on patrol.
The late Police and Crime Commissioner, Bob Jones, announced the trial of the trial of the digital speed cameras before his untimely death in July.
But he had warned that the cost of turning all the cameras back on would have to be justified by an improvement in safety and a reduction in casualties.
The pilot also has the backing of the new Crime Commissioner David Jamieson – a former transport minister – who listed road safety as a top priority when he was elected in August.
Councillor James McKay, Cabinet Member for Social Cohesion, Equalities and Community Safety at Birmingham City Council, said: “Road accidents continue to affect too many residents and visitors to the city.
“Eight people are injured every day, another is seriously injured and every fortnight we suffer one death.
“These road accidents are often devastating and tragic consequences for those involved as well as their family and friends.
“This pilot will help make roads safer and provide the police and local councils with data that will help inform any potential roll out of more cameras in the future.”
It is anticipated that the cameras will go live in August 2015 and it is understood that the sites of the new cameras will be made public.
The pilot will finish in April 2017, ahead of possible further extensions to the scheme in the autumn of that year.
The funds from all speeding fines are passed on to the Treasury with West Midlands Police only eligible for a share of funds generated from driver awareness courses.
Councillor Tahir Ali, Cabinet Member for Development, Transport and the Economy, said: “Beyond the tragic consequences for families affected, these reported road traffic collisions also cost over £220 million each year to the Birmingham economy.
“Collisions inevitably add to congestion, causing delays and disruption to road users, not only on the road on which the collisions take place, but also to people in the surrounding area.
“Therefore, it is only right we look at how we can reintroduce speed cameras to our roads, because the positive impact they have for urban mobility should not be ignored.”
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