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East Lancashire's speed cameras branded ‘wasteful’
ROAD safety groups have labelled East Lancashire’s speed cameras ‘inefficient and wasteful’ after learning that none of the 168 devices use digital technology.
The ageing ‘wet film’ cameras are more susceptible to vandalism and most are out of action due to costs.
Campaigners say increasing digital camera numbers will help reduce crashes as they are more reliable than those using standard film.
Digital cameras offer slightly better picture quality, but appearance and detection are the same.
Vali Birang, head of sustainable transport and safety at Lancashire County Council, said: “All of our existing cameras have Home Office approval, however the wet-film technology is becoming obsolete.
“We have been working with the police to review the available technology with a view to upgrading to digital cameras.
“At the same time, we are moving towards a more flexible and targeted approach to enforcement with the Lancashire RoadWatch scheme which will make more use of mobile cameras to respond to community concerns about speeding and focus on locations where we know speeding causes injuries.”
The cost of the upgrades was unavailable, but the new technology would be paid for by the Lancashire Road Safety partnership – a multi-agency partnership between Lancashire County Council, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, Lancashire Police, The Highways Agency and other local authorities.
In England and Wales, only about one in six speed cameras is digital, according to a survey by Road Safety Support, commissioned by the Association of Chief Police Officers.
Almost 3,000 cameras use photographic film with only 453 digital.
And 18 partnerships, including Lancashire, have no digital cameras.
Richard Coteau, from road safety charity Brake, said: “It is vital local authorities move to replace wet-film cameras with digital ones, as they cost less to run and mean more can be switched on at any given time, helping to improve safety.”
Kevin Delaney, head of road safety at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: “The present wet-film system is inefficient and wasteful and films are often only part used.”