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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 08:30 
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...but they still catch council boss :rotfl:

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Drivers had no way of knowing, but there has been little chance of being fined for speeding in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Embarrassed council officials have admitted none of its fixed roadside cameras have been working for nearly two years and some have been turned off since 2007.

Some of the 14 cameras were never even connected to the mains to save money. Others were installed but then switched off – apparently to save £500 on putting up signs to comply with new Department for Transport guidance.

Even senior councillors had no idea speeding motorists faced little risk of being caught – until this week, when several cameras have been turned on again.

Ironically, when some of the devices were tested in 2008, city council chief executive Barry Rowland was one of just a handful of drivers caught, and was fined £60.

Debbie Cameron, 41, who lost her son David when he was knocked down in the city by a BMW in 2004, said: ‘Speed cameras are there to serve a purpose and should not be switched off.’

Labour MP Nick Brown said: ‘This is a metaphor for the whole way the place was run – on appearance rather than substance. These cameras save lives and this negligence will put lives at risk.’

Council officials say motorists were unaware the cameras were not active so they would still have watched their speed.

Mr Rowland, the council's most senior officer, was handed a speeding fine on one of the rare days when the seven fixed-location cameras were switched on.

Since 2010 none of Newcastle's cameras has issued fines, although some have still flashed at speeding motorists.

In the year before the cameras were put up, Mr Rowland wrote a report on road safety to the council, which included a recommendation, quickly withdrawn, to introduce a 20mph limit across the city.

Today Mr Rowland said: 'I do recall receiving a fixed penalty ticket from a speed camera on the Coast Road some time ago.

'It would seem that this was during the short period that the cameras were in operation.

'The irony is inescapable.'

Two of the five camera locations were activated for just a few days in 2008 to test new batteries.

In an unfortunate twist, one of the speeding motorists they caught was Mr Rowland, then a senior director at the council.

Motorists are now being warned that the dormant cameras will be switched back on this week.

Newcastle Council are now investigating why senior councillors were kept in the dark over the decision to keep the cameras switched off for so long.

It is believed the council has been recommended to take disciplinary action against senior officers who neglected to inform either the former Liberal Democrat administration or the new Labour leaders of the decision.

In the wake of the switch-on, road safety campaigners have urged drivers: 'Please slow down at all times but certainly do not assume that these cameras are no longer active.'

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"Show me someone who says that they have never exceeded a speed limit, and I'll show you a liar, or a menace." (Austin Williams - Director, Transport Research Group)

Any views expressed in this post are personal opinions and may not represent the views of Safe Speed


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 15:12 
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Since they wish to rely on paranoia or believe in their own systems it begs the question are they competent to do their jobs.
Since we are told too that those that travel ought to be able to keep to the posted speed limit and not gain any tickets how come a Councillor who (I assume) had some say in where the Scameras were to be placed and when cannot manage to see it and ensure that his licence was 'safe' - ah but of course he 'knew' they were all off so going over the speed limit perhaps was OK then ?

Yet the Council is now happy to turn them on and hand out fines autonomously without questioning the system and it's true 'value' whatsoever. They all ought to be utterly ashamed and removed from office.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 00:50 
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Tis a farce. Good post, Claire. He presumably was unaware that they had been turned back on and that means he presumably believes that it is ok to break the limit as long as the camera is inactive. So does that mean that he believes that that stretch of road is safe at over the posted limit, in which case why did he stick a camera there, or was he himself driving in what he believed to be an unsafe manner? Hmm.


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