Most drivers are in favour of new, long-range cameras being used to catch motorists who break the law.
Gloucestershire Police trialled the cameras, which can spot drivers breaking the law from up to a kilometre away, across 35 sites last November, spotting 1,325 offences in total. 1,293 of these were speeding offences; the highest speed recorded was 126mph.
A total of 32 other offences were spotted, including tailgating, using a mobile phone behind the wheel, failure to wear a seatbelt and not displaying a legal registration plate.
In addition to catching motoring offences, police were able to help 10 drivers who had broken down and another 10 who needed assistance for other reasons.
Following the trail, the RAC ran a survey of over 2,000 drivers and found that the majority (59%) of drivers surveyed were in favour of the long-range camera, although the top priority wasn’t catching speeders. The majority of those in favour stated that they’d like to see more users of mobile phones behind the wheel to be punished for the offence.
Of the 28% who were against the cameras, 68% believed that catching drivers from a distance had no deterrent value, unlike speed cameras and visible speed vans. 44% felt the use of long-distance cameras was unfair as drivers wouldn’t be able to se them in advance, while 35% were concerned over privacy and 13% just didn’t want to be caught speeding.
Martin Surl, Gloucestershire police and crime commissioner, said, “This is not about bashing the motorist. I’m just as pleased to see police were there to help drivers in trouble as well as being able to challenge those breaking the law.
“Many people have come to me with their concerns about speeding and other safety issues along this road. This is a new model of collaborative roads policing which, if it proves a success, can be put into practice elsewhere.”
RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said, “With dramatically fewer roads police officers on patrol these days, enforcement of multiple motoring offences via long-range camera could be seen as a more efficient use of police time, and something that is clearly very much welcomed by drivers who don’t break the law in these ways.”