Published: March 10, 2009
New high-tech roadside speed camera for A38 near Burnham-On-Sea

A high-tech digital camera is to replace a traditional speed camera at Rooksbridge, near Burnham-On-Sea, to help improve road safety, the partnership behind the scheme has announced this week.

The new equipment will be installed during the next few weeks on the A38 near Rooksbridge, Safecam said.

Safety cameras remain a contentious way of policing drivers' speed, with many road safety groups claiming they play an important role in reducing deaths and injuries, while some motorists and campaign groups argue they are being used to help boost the Government's coffers.

Safecam, previously known as the Safety Camera Partnership, said casualties on routes covered by cameras have fallen by 16 per cent over the past five years.

David Gollicker of Safecam said this week: "Excessive and inappropriate speed remains a major contributory factor in a high proportion of crashes. There is no doubt that visible roadside cameras reduce traffic speeds and the risk of collisions. This is recognised by local communities who frequently ask for cameras to be installed in their area."

Safecam said the introduction of digital technology has many advantages over the old-style Gatso cameras, pictured, which use 35mm film that has to be unloaded manually after taking 800 photographs.

Digital images can be retrieved automatically, direct from the site over a broadband telephone link, and can be stored ready for viewing at any time.

The new digital cameras will be painted bold yellow – like the traditional Gatsos – to make them clearly visible to drivers.

There are now 63 fixed roadside cameras in the Avon and Somerset police force area with another 42 cameras at light controlled junctions to deter drivers from jumping red lights.

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