Cameras prevent safe overtaking says Brown

A councillor has claimed speed cameras on the A68 hamper safe overtaking and should be relocated to meet the latest criteria.

Councillor Jim Brown told TheSouthern this week that the local safety camera partnership should take the opportunity to relocate the cameras while they are looking at replacing those vandalised along the route.

Mr Brown said: “I think it would be sensible to use this opportunity to attempt to fully justify and review the purpose and siting of speed cameras on the A68.”

He added: “We must start by coming clean on their purpose. If these cameras are simply a money making venture, let’s say so and simply replace the stolen cameras.

“On the other hand, if they are truly aimed at the prevention of accidents and saving lives, then let’s have them sited according to the most up-to -date recommended criteria.

“Lets face it, most of them are simply sited where they are most likely to catch speeding motorists, namely on the straight sections of road.

“The problem with this method is that they also prevent responsible drivers from overtaking. This in turn encourages less responsible drivers to attempt to overtake on the less safe sections.”

A spokesperson from Lothian and Borders Safety Camera Partnership was unavailable for comment.

The guidelines regarding the siting of cameras include factors such as the number of casualties, average speed and length of a site.

However, the regulations enable some cameras to be placed at sites that do not meet the criteria if they contribute to the overall strategy of reducing road casualties.

Mr Brown added: “Another aspect that is less commonly spoken about concerns tourism and commercial travellers.

“Due to the present financial climate the Borders must encourage as many people to travel via our trunk roads as possible - with through traffic there are always spin offs to our B&Bs, cafes, hotels, paper shops, filling stations etc.

“The problem is when these people are planning a trip through the Borders they have more than one option. Personally, if I was planning my route and noticed there were 15 speed cameras over a 50-mile stretch of road I would tend to avoid it, especially if I depended on a clean licence for my job.”

Mr Brown said he will raise the issue with Paul Wheelhouse MSP and ask if it can be taken up with Transport Scotland.