New average speed enforcement cameras are now in operation across Birmingham and Solihull in an effort to cut road casualties - authorities insist they are not to raise cash... or as one member puts it: 'I am not Bob Geldof.'
Project partners including Birmingham council, Solihull council and the West Midlands Police said they decided to use average speed cameras ‘because historically compliance with speed limits is far better than with mobile or fixed-point cameras’.
Birmingham City Council said that between 2010 and 2014, there were 2,356 people killed or seriously injured on the roads in Birmingham and Solihull, an average of around 471 per year.
The system tracks drivers through a ‘clearly signed’ average speed control zone using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology.
Cllr Stewart Stacey, cabinet member for transport and roads at Birmingham City Council, said: ‘I want a clear message to be heard by the region’s motorists – I’m not Bob Geldof, I don’t want you to “give us your money”, I just want you to comply with the speed limits that are there to improve safety for everyone who uses the roads of Birmingham and Solihull.'
Superintendent Kerry Blakeman, from West Midlands Police, said: ‘Our intention is for people to adhere to the speed limit. Those who exceed the limit will have to attend a speed awareness course where they will be educated about the dangers of speeding or face either an appearance at court or a fine and points on their licence.
‘We hope that the presence of these highly visible cameras will ensure that road users comply with the set limits on roads in Birmingham and Solihull.’
The cameras will be operational across Birmingham and Solihull for five years, including an initial 21-month evaluation phase to assess the effectiveness of the cameras, equipment and the overall system.