Big guns in favour of painting Gatso cameras bright

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Speed cameras look certain to be painted in eye-catching colours now that top cops and the Home Secretary agree it’s the right thing to do.

Association of Chief Police Officers’ (ACPO) traffic committee chairman Ken Williams has called for speed cameras up and down the country to be brightly-coloured to make them more visible – and his calls have been echoed by some of the country’s other influential police too.

It’s a response to growing anger over ” hidden ” grey Gatsos skulking behind road signs and catching people by stealth. It is also a recognition that these devices are meant to be a deterrent, not a tax collector.

Williams reckons cameras should only be in place in genuine accident black spots. And he could use his influence to get them taken down if they don’t fit the criteria.

He insists cameras should not be hidden and road users should be able to tell where they are. And he reckons making them more visible would tone down their poor image and make them more publicly accepted, too.

Williams, who is also chief constable of Norfolk, said the police should be ” very public about where they are going to be, should make them bright and visible, and should provide a map for the media. ”

He said: ” Police officers get no joy out of issuing fixed penalty tickets. ”

The cameras’ potential new colours are undecided.

A spokesman for ACPO, who confirmed Williams’ comments will have some influence on other forces’ policy on speed cameras, said: ” Their colour would be ultimately settled by individual local authorities and police forces.

And it’s now know the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, is in favour of making them easier to spot, as reported by ITV’s Tonight programme.

The debate follows a trial scheme in Plymouth in which cameras in six locations were painted with the same orange and yellow fluorescent stripes which appear on the back of traffic police cars.

There are also orange cameras in Doncaster.

RAC Foundation spokesman Jonathan Simpson welcomed the announcements but didn’t feel they went far enough.

He said: ” It’s a step in the right direction. But it’s time we moved away from this obsession with speed. ”

He said: ” We need more officers out on the roads. Speed cameras can’t catch people using their mobile phones while driving, spilling diesel, or drinking and driving. ”

MAG spokesman Ian Mutch said: ” Williams has obviously got sense. It’s a good idea.

” I’d like to see less cameras of course, but if we’ve got to have them, let’s have them as bright as possible. ”

AA spokesman Andrew Howard said: ” We’ve long said there should be more openness about speed cameras.

” The public should be told why they’re in specific locations and they should also be made brighter. It’s just common sense. ”

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MCN Staff

By MCN Staff