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UK:£7m bill to swap old speed cameras for digital units

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By Damien Henderson

SCOTLAND is facing a £7 million bill to convert the country's network of fixed speed cameras from outdated "wet film" to digital within the next seven years.

The figure was disclosed by the Scottish Safety Camera Programme (SSCP) yesterday as it emerged that a scheme to replace the old cameras is underway in Glasgow.

Scotland's network of 225 fixed cameras, including 47 used to catch people jumping lights, will need to be replaced within the next five to seven years, though some of those are expected to be decommissioned as problems with accident blackspots are remedied.

Glasgow will see 13 red light cameras replaced under the current programme with a new dual use digital units which will be able to both capture speeders as well as red light jumpers.

Gladys Cadden, manager of SSCP, said: "This is a major advance for road safety as it addresses the problem of drivers speeding up to beat the lights as well as those going through the signal."

Road safety authorities say the cost of maintaining the old cameras, which require staff to manually load, unload and process film, is becoming prohibitively expensive.

By law, police have to issue a notice to a motorist within 14 days of their being captured by a roadside camera in order to proceed with any ensuing prosecution, which can mean a tight turnaround time, given that film is only collected once a week.

Jim Dale, director of the SSCP, said there hadn't been any instances of prosecutions being thwarted because of problems with analogue cameras breaking down but that this would be a possibility if they were not replaced in an appropriate timeframe.

"We're confident that the Scottish Government is committed to funding the replacement of these cameras," he added.

The deployment of speed cameras and red light cameras since 2002 has been hailed as a success in cutting accidents and speeding. Accidents at camera locations have fallen and the number of people who have been fined for speeding fell from 144,234 in 2004/05 to just 60,139 in 2008/09.

More mobile cameras are being deployed as a result, given that accidents are now less concentrated in "blackspots" and more likely to be dispersed around the road network.

Check it out at:[/PHP]

It is easy after the economical crisis they have to collect some more money, drivers included, nothing as increasing the productivity speeding camera system in order to do it.

Put 7 million pound and get back 70, that´s a deal man!!!

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