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Corbishley eyes speed cameras

Policy research guided: Stephen Corbishley, the Commissioner of Police

High-tech speed cameras are being considered to police the island’s roads, the island’s senior officer has signalled.

Stephen Corbishley, the Commissioner of Police said new speed cameras or upgrades to the existing CCTV network could be used to cut down on speeding and other traffic offences.

Mr Corbishley said: “We are debating, particularly in the CCTV infrastructure that exists in Bermuda, not just crime prevention, but how we can utilise it better with regards to road traffic enforcement, and we have debated speed cameras.

“A really good model is to look at the average speed between one location and another.

“Through some of the technology, particularly automatic licence plate reading, you can calculate the average speed that the vehicle has driven.

“That has a greater impact than single-site cameras and those are some of the factors we’re considering in how we design CCTV in the future.”

Mr Corbishley added: “We are certainly looking at developing the way in which our CCTV contract is going to be in the future and that will look at some of the technical opportunities that are available.

That will take place over the next 12 months in regards to what could be achieved and that will then set a plan going forward.

“It’s not going to happen overnight, but it is something we are going to try to accelerate as soon as possible.”

He said that alternative penalties for offences would also be looked at, including education and rehabilitation of offenders,

Mr Corbishley said he was optimistic about the effects of breath test checkpoints, which have resulted in 41 arrests out of 800 stops since the first was set up last month and that people had changed their habits as a result.

He highlighted that drinkdrivers could avoid checkpoints as it was a legal requirement that dates and the parishes involved are published at least five days in advance.

He said he hoped the legislation could become more flexible in the future.

Mr Corbishley added: “We are on a journey and, going forward, we need to discuss with Government the legislation that is available.”

He said: “It is easy to say that those people can avoid those locations, but on the flip side, many people are going through those points and they are being captured and charged, taken to court and convicted for drink-driving.

Mr Corbishley said discussions with Wayne Caines, the national security minister, on the checkpoints had been “productive”.

Mr Corbishley said: “I am encouraged by the conversations that we are having and it would be an ambition that we maybe not move away from the fixed checkpoints, but have greater flexibility to use them in other locations. We can be a lot more targeted and in a position to be in different locations. The situation that people think they can be avoided can actually be removed.”

Mr Corbishley added he recognised the need for better road training, including on-road practice, and that he was keen to be involved in any talks on training for new and long-time road users.

He said: “I would be supportive to any improvement and development of training that supports people in obtaining their licence and being safe on the road.

“If the training is greater than simply driving through some cones and getting them to understand awareness of space, how other road users work, the appropriate use of speed — I am supportive of that.

“That should be built in to any model that we see in the future.”

Mr Corbishley added: “We are embarking on a change programme within the Bermuda Police Service and we are looking at the way in which we are resourcing each department.

“I am encouraged and will be supportive of extending our abilities around roads policing — it is one of our specific strategic priorities in reducing death and serious injury and that will continue to remain so during my five year tenure here in Bermuda.”

The Royal Gazette’s Drive for Change campaign, launched in January, has called for speed cameras or other types of speed control, as well as roadside breath tests and better training for motorbike riders.