Police hope for fixed and mobile speed cameras
Police could use a combination of fixed and mobile speed cameras to clamp down on dangerous driving, it was revealed yesterday.
Chief Inspector Robert Cardwell, head of the roads policing unit, said a request for proposal for speed cameras was discussed at a recent meeting with Acting Commissioner of Police Darrin Simons and Vernon Wears, the policy and project co-ordinator at the national security ministry.
Mr Cardwell said: “We are looking at both speed and red light cameras. There are several different options – some are fixed and some are moveable
“I think we are going down the path of having a combination of fixed and moveable.
“We are looking at options around the cameras taking a photo of the front and back of an offending vehicle and technology to deal with adverse weather conditions that affect visibility when it happens.”
Mr Cardwell said that effective camera technology would reduce speed and help police monitor other risky behaviour on the roads.
He added: “The pace on the roads is far too fast, hence the frequency of collisions.
“We think if drivers have it in their mind that when they are moving about, driving or riding and it is being watched on camera, infractions are recorded and accountability is raised.
“This will have an impact on the bad driving behaviour we see.”
Funding for speed cameras is the responsibility of the national security ministry.
The Government earlier said it was committed to improvements to the existing CCTV network to help reduce the number of traffic offences and other crimes.
There are 155 cameras on the network at present.
Renee Ming, the Minister of National Security, said: “As it relates to some of the policies that we’re trying to implement at the ministry level, as indicated in our Throne Speech update last month, we will concentrate our efforts on working with the Ministry of Transport and the Bermuda Police Service to stem the number offences on our roads.
“More specifically, we will introduce a new upgraded island-wide CCTV system.
“The new CCTV system will include newer features to assist the police in tackling not just road traffic offences but violent crime.”
Ms Ming said it was anticipated that the upgrading work would be completed in the next financial year.
She added: “The costs for the system will be covered in the ministry’s budget allocation and we are confident that an upgraded CCTV system will result in increased safety for our community.”
Ms Ming did not reveal if the CCTV network improvements would include speed camera technology.
Walter Roban, then the transport minister, said in February 2018 that the Government wanted to include speed camera technology in the CCTV network.
Mr Roban said: “CCTV technology can be enhanced. We already have the ability here at the Transport Control Department through our own technologies to recognise licence plates.”
Former Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley said in November the same year that high-tech speed cameras were being considered.
Lawrence Scott, the transport minister, admitted last month that speed cameras had not been brought into service fast enough.
He said: “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.”
There have been 16 people killed on the roads this year – the same number as died in the whole of 2014.
The highest number of road deaths in a year since 2001 was 17 in 2008.
The highest ever death toll was 26 in 1975, just before motorbike helmets were made compulsory.