Speed camera sites do not meet criteria

Vandalised speed camera on the A68 along the Newtown St. Boswells by-pass.
Vandalised speed camera on the A68 along the Newtown St. Boswells by-pass.
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Speed camera sites on the A68 in the Borders do not meet the latest criteria, but vandalised cameras will continue to be replaced.

Earlier this month two more cameras on the route were removed by vandals, at Camptown and Huntford.

They are the fifth and sixth cameras on the A68 to be targeted in less than a year.

The cameras were installed in the late 1990s by the Scottish Office and Lothian and Borders Police due to concerns about road casualties and speeding on the cross-border route. In the three years following their installation there was a 35 per cent reduction in casualties.

A spokesperson for Lothian and Borders Safety Camera Partnership told The Southern: “When safety camera partnerships were established the guidance under which they operate recognised the success of historical speed camera installations.

“As a consequence, the guidance permitted partnerships to continue to enforce from route strategy sites of this nature, albeit they may not satisfy the latest criteria governing site selection.

“The main reason for this was the sustained success of these installations over time and any decision to remove them might prove counter-productive in achieving the continuing aim to reduce 
 road casualties.”

The camera at Newtown St Boswells, which was attacked in December last year, was replaced last month.

Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for community safety, Councillor Donald Moffat, said: “I’m delighted to hear the partnership has begun to replace the safety cameras which have previously been damaged.

“If a camera has been installed at a specific location, it is there for a very good reason – to prevent accidents and deter motorists from speeding.

“These attacks are putting everyone who uses the A68 at a greater risk of being involved in what could be a serious collision.”

Lothian and Borders Police have once again condemned those behind the attacks, warning that the perpetrators are risking their own lives, as well as a prison sentence.

Officers are investigating the incidents and are treating them as theft, vandalism and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

In total there are 15 fixed camera sites on the A68 in the Borders.

The camera sites at Longnewton, Birkenside. and near Oxton were also attacked.