48,000 speeders identified in 40 days

The sophisticated camera has been monitoring vehicles travelling through Rodborough between Nailsworth and Stroud for six weeks.

During this time the automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology has clocked over half a million cars passing both ways through the 30mph zone.

Of these motorists 48,000 – or nine per cent – broke the speed limit and under normal circumstances would have been eligible for hefty fines.

But rather than handing out £100 penalties, the new scheme sends persistent speeders a warning letter, or in the worst cases, or doorstep visit from the police.

Chair of the Rodborough Road Safety Working Group, Charles Pederick, and his small team have been working in partnership with Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner to pilot the new technology.

“These figures are absolutely shocking,” he said after analysing the data.

“On average, every day around 1,200 vehicles drive through this busy residential area at 35mph or higher – this is incredibly dangerous for cyclists, pedestrians and children.

“We’ve calculated that if all those caught speeding had received the standard £100 fine then it would have totalled 4.8 million in penalties.

“If you factor these same statistics over one year it would reach an incredible £44m.

“These numbers show just how big an issue speeding is for this area.”

But Mr Pederick, a father-of-three and Rodborough parish councillor for Butterow West, stressed the new camera was not about making money.

“This isn’t a cash cow. This is not about catching people out and penalising them,” he said.

“Neither the parish nor the police are making any money out of this. In fact we’re actually spending money to trial the technology.

“This is about trying to change people’s attitude. This system gives the driver a chance to change their driving habits instead of a fine and at least three points on their licence.

“We want to encourage people to become safer, more responsible drivers and generally, the vast majority are supportive of our aims.”

The small yellow camera has been active on a telephone pole outside Stroud Enterprise Centre on Bath Road since February 26.

Unlike conventional speed cameras the ANPR also clocks a vehicle’s number plate, time, date and photographs it.

This allows it to record dates which can be used to identify and flag up persistent and dangerous speeders.

Cllr Pederick helped Gloucestershire Police research and introduce the ground-breaking software and has been monitoring this data since the pilot scheme began.

Despite the high initial figures, he has noticed a “big reduction” in the number of people breaking the law over the last few weeks.

“We’ve been monitoring the data for over a month now and have already seen a dramatic fall in people travelling at over 35mph,” he said.

And yet despite the drastic drop, he added, there have been some anomalies.

“However, we’ve seen people regularly exceeding 50 and 60 miles per hour – that’s double the limit,” he said.

“The highest yet was one car travelling 66mph during the school run hours. There has also been one man from Gloucester who we’ve caught breaking the limit 44 times in less than a month.

“This particular driver was sent a police warning letter stating that the speeding was so serious that it would usually amount to a summons to the Magistrate’s Court.

“But in line with this trial, he was warned the vehicle would be monitored and he would be given a chance not to speed again.

“But when we checked, he had completely disregarded the warnings and kept driving though at 50mph.

“So he was one of the first to have a doorstep visit from the police. Since then we’ve watched his vehicle and he’s dropped down to 31mph.

 

Source: Carrington West

“This is one example of just how effective this camera and its software can be.

“Since we first installed the system I’ve had calls from communities across the country asking how they can get one of these cameras for themselves.