Drivers caught speeding in the Limavady borough have been fined at least £80,000 in the last 12 months, the ‘Journal’ can reveal.
The staggering sum was shelled out by 1,334 drivers clocked speeding by the Camera Safety Scheme using the camera inside the van parked on roadsides in the Limavady and Dungiven area.
Some drivers have been caught doing more than twice the limit such as a motorist who, on January 31 - just before 1pm on the busy Ballyquin Road - close to two schools, housing estates and shops, drove at 64 mph in the 30mph zone.
A further 253 detections were made in the borough during the same period by officers using hand held cameras in the borough’s hot spots.
Operations manager for Road Policing in G District - which covers Limavady, Derry, Strabane and Magherafelt, Inspector Stephen Haslett refutes suggestions that catching speeding motorists is simply about making money.
“The reality of it is that it’s not about money,” said Inspector Stephen Haslett, who explained the revenue from the roadside vans goes back into the Camera Safety Scheme while fines from PSNI tickets goes into a general Government budget.
“I’m a motorist as well and I don’t want to be caught speeding, but the only way I can do that is to drive accordingly and in a disciplined way. It’s about people’s lives. It is not at all about raising money - it’s about targeting people who drive in an unacceptable way. It’s the difference between life and death. I know there is this stereotypical approach about money but, coming from a traffic officer, it’s not about money. We’re out there to save lives.”
Averaging at around 100 detections per month, Insp. Haslett said the “difficulty with that is potential serious injury or death on the roads”.
“A lot of people are driving at around 45mph in a 30 and when you stop them they are completely unaware of what speed they are doing, which is an element of inattention in itself. Generally, if people are doing more than that, they know they are speeding and are in a hurry for a reason, which is just unacceptable and highly dangerous,” he said.
“You add speed to any crash and you’ll get carnage. A lot of people still haven’t got the message. We have to slow down and we have to discipline ourselves and that applies to all of us.”