Poole Speed Camera Faces Legal Challenge

13 July 2010, 07:45

A speed camera in Poole, which has fined over 7000 drivers in just 8 months, could face a legal challenge from a local resident.

Ian Belchamber says the southbound camera on Holes Bay Road is just a way for the authorities to get money, as opposed to saving lives by cutting down on the number of accidents there:

"I set up my website 'Dorset Speed' because the only reaction to the number of deaths on Dorset's roads has been to set up traps to catch out motorists.

"With this particular camera, even the Camera Partnership themselves have said it's not about casualty reduction.

"The amount of money being made from it is extraordinary - it's set to take in more than £1million in its first year, it's unbelievable.

"I've had emails from a lot of really angry people about this. I'm not against speed camera's used intelligently, but this situation at Holes Bay is completely unacceptable.

"I just think it's a real shame that the people who are supposed to be looking after our safety on the roads are instead designing operations like this to just take as much possible cash as they can.

"If this huge number of people are speeding, it's clearly because the road type is inconsistent with the speed limit, and they should do something about it. It's giving drivers the wrong message and it's extremely damaging.

"I'm hoping a realistic speed limit will be set for this road and I'll keep campaigning until this happens. I'm talking to some legal firms now to see if anything can be found to challenge this camera and if a technicality can be found, it could result in some people getting their fines repaid, but we'll have to wait and see."

Pat Garrett, Head of Safety Education and Enforcement Services at The Dorset Safety Camera Partnership said:

"We've conducted a full consultation with Borough of Poole Council before installing the Speed on Green safety cameras at this very busy traffic light junction near a shopping centre.

"The road is very busy as it caters for pedestrians and cyclists as well as motorised vehicles, and as a result has been designated a 30mph speed limit.

"In addition to the warning signs to inform drivers of the 30mph speed limit, a full public relations campaign was undertaken prior to the cameras going live and enforcement taking place.

"Around 600,000 vehicles pass through the junction every month and since the cameras have been installed only 0.26% of these drivers have been prosecuted for speeding offences.

"We are working hard to reduce this figure further but need the assistance of the motorists to achieve this aim."