A PROLIFIC traffic camera, which has caught hundreds of speeding drivers, has been turned away from the road.

The camera on Preston New Road near the Shell petrol station, in Mellor Brook, catches drivers going over the speed limit of 30 miles per hour.

However it is currently set to catch no racing cars as it faces a cluster of bushes.

It is thought it could have been turned away from the road by a 'traffic vigilante' or knocked by a van parking up.

One Preston New Road resident, who lives close to the camera, said: “I’m not sure exactly how this came about.

“I noticed it one day and wondered what happened.

“Someone said a van had knocked it but I don’t know how as it's quite far from the roadside.

“If it has been done intentionally then it's not good behaviour as the camera is there to keep the speed limit down and keep people safe.”

The road, which leads from Blackburn, through Mellor Brook and Samlesbury, towards Preston, changes from 50 miles per hour to 30 miles per hour, before reaching the entrance of BAE Systems, where it becomes 40 miles per hour.

The Lancashire Telegraph reported the camera, near to the Branch Road junction, had detected more than 700 drivers breaking the 30mph limit in the first two weeks of January 2017.

At the time, Blackburn and Darwen police issued a warning on social media after the spike and called on drivers to not put their own lives and other people at risk.

A police spokesman said: "Speed cameras are put in place to protect road users and reduce accidents.

"Anyone who deliberately damages or obstructs them is showing a complete disregard for the safety of drivers and pedestrians in that area.

"Traffic cameras play a key role in making Lancashire’s roads safer and where they are deliberately damaged we will take action against those responsible."