Jersey's Road Safety Panel deems Island lights unfit for purpose
Drivers going through red lights considered to be widespread problem
Jersey's Road Safety officer expressed concern earlier this week
Poll; Should more be done to cut down on motorists who jump red lights?
UK-style traffic light cameras should be introduced in Jersey to catch motorists who are putting pedestrians’ lives at risk at junctions, says Jersey’s Road Safety Panel.
Earlier this week the panel warned that drivers going through a red light were a widespread problem in Jersey and that it was only a matter of time before someone was killed or seriously injured.
Philip Blake, the Island’s road safety officer, and Peter Tabb, vice-chairman of the panel, have said that introducing cameras on traffic lights which photograph offenders as they pass through ‘stop’ lights could save lives.
In the UK, traffic light cameras are often triggered by using ground loops that are cut into the road surface.
As the traffic lights turn red, the system becomes active, and any vehicle passing over the sensor in the road after that time is photographed.
The States police say that since January 2012, more than 650 drivers have been prosecuted for driving through red lights.
Most of the offenders caught are spotted first-hand by the States police or honorary officers.
Mr Blake said that cameras had been successful in the UK and America – so much so that in some US states the system has been withdrawn as drivers stopped running the red lights at the camera locations and the technology was found to be unaffordable because no fines were being issued.
The road safety officer, who identified Gloucester Street, Elizabeth Place outside Helvetia House School and the junction in front of the main entrance to Howard David Park as ‘hot spots’, added: ‘Once people know that there is a camera at the bottom of Gloucester Street that could automatically ping a fine to them based on their number plate, they would soon stop.
'These machines are efficient and I am sure it would solve the issue at various hotspots around the Island.’
Mr Tabb said that jumping red lights was a serious problem and that there were ‘many instances’ that occurred in the Island every day.
‘The panel’s view at the moment is that any action that diminishes the opportunity of running a red light is worth considering.
'Cameras are one thing that the panel would like to look into in more detail.’
Both men said they felt the introduction of cameras would be unlikely, however, because of the significant cost.
Transport Minister Eddie Noel said he had not discussed the idea since he came to office over 12 months ago, but he added that he would be happy to look at it and consider it with his officers if required.
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