Police focus on speeding

Mobile speed cameras in Tadcaster and Sherburn-in-Elmet will become a permanent fixture on roads after police have condemned speeding drivers in the area - which has seen more than 1,800 people across North Yorkshire prosecuted in the past month.

Police officers have confirmed they had caught the speeding drivers during the start of a six-month trial starting from last month after mobile safety cameras were placed along a series of rural country roads throughout North Yorkshire.

Among these were the B1222 near Sherburn-in-Elmet and the A64 between Tadcaster and York.

Police figures have now revealed that in recent years there have been six people killed, 12 serious incidents and around 15 injuries on the B1222 from the A1 near Sherburn-in-Elmet to Stillingfleet.

The B1222 road is particularly dangerous due to a series of blind and tight bends, adverse cambers and a concealed bridge. police said.

Until now, North Yorkshire has been the only county in the UK that has not been using either mobile or fixed-site cameras.

But senior police officers said the “disappointing” number of people caught within the first month, some of whom were travelling at more than 100mph along quiet rural roads, has revealed the problem to be so endemic throughout that cameras are now needed permanently.

The head of North Yorkshire Police’s strategic roads group, Insp Dave Brown, said: “We are not surprised at the numbers because we know there is an extensive amount of abuse of the speed limit.

“What is disappointing to me is we have told as many people as we can that we are going to be out there with the camera but despite that we are still putting this number of people through the system.

“People are just not heeding the warnings.

“There is a culture of this that we are trying to address. The size of the county plays a part in this, as does the size of the road network – people seem to think they will not get caught.

“My personal feeling is there is a lot of work to be done with motorists. This pilot project has already proved its worth and it is having an impact. To keep the momentum going, the pilot needs to become a full-grown operation. We are always working to keep casualties down and this will be the biggest leap forward for years.”

Of the 1,805 motorists caught, 37 have been summoned to court for excessive speed, while 381 people were given fixed penalty notices. A total of 1,387 offenders, about 70 per cent, have been offered speed awareness courses.

Insp Brown said: “We hope these results reinforce the message that speeding is unacceptable and will not be tolerated on our roads.

“If you speed you are now more likely to be caught in North Yorkshire than ever before. Speed kills, ignore the law and you will be punished.”

Between 2008 and 2010, there were 36 fatalities on the county’s roads in collisions where speed was a contributory factor.

North Yorkshire Police this year joined forces with others in the North of England to crack down on speeding bikers in a bid to reduce fatalities.