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Department of Transport clarifies its position re 'Safety Cameras' 10 July 2006

The Department of Transport made the decision to install safety cameras at two accident ‘hot spots’ on the Island. The cameras will be operational at Ballaugh Bridge and Woodbourne Road, Douglas, and are being introduced following an increasing number of accidents recorded at these two sites.

The first safety camera - a red light camera - is due to go live in the next few days at the traffic signals at the junction of York Road and Woodbourne Road in Douglas. Statistics provided by the Isle of Man Constabulary reveal a disturbing trend for motorists to jump the red lights at this junction. Of the 17 accidents reported since 1st January 2000, 13 (or 76%) were as a result of “failing to comply with a red signal”.

It has proved to be one the most troublesome junctions for both drivers and pedestrians to negotiate, which is why the Department of Transport made the decision to install a ‘Red Light Violation Camera’. This action has met with the enthusiastic approval of adjacent schools and nurseries that have a keen interest in the improvement of road safety measures at the York Road junction.

Safety Camera ImageFiona Harcourt Owner and Manager of the Cranfield Nursery School comments

“We have been very anxious about the safety of our children crossing the road to the nursery and we are delighted that the Department of Transport have now arranged the installation of a red light camera. Hopefully we can all now cross the road with more confidence.”

The Department is keen to emphasise that it is not an enforcement body, but the Red Light Violation Camera does have the capability to record offenders. The camera will be configured to take a photograph of a vehicle breaking the law and putting other road users at risk by failing to stop when the traffic signals turn to red. Simon Barker, Traffic and Safety Manager at the Department of Transport comments

“All drivers who are tempted to jump red lights should be aware that the potential for enforcement is now available and they must think twice before deciding to ignore traffic signals.”

The second safety camera is a Watchman Camera, and will be fully installed over the coming weeks at Ballaugh Bridge. Since 1st January 2000, there have been 16 road traffic accidents at Ballaugh Bridge. 2005 proved to be a particularly bad year, when 8 people were injured (4 of them seriously) as a result of the 8 road traffic accidents reported over the 12 month period.

The Watchman Camera will help the Department to identify any traffic engineering measures that might reduce the number of accidents. This camera is equipped with 24-hour digital video equipment so it can accurately monitor driver behaviour - it is not a speed camera.

Simon Barker continues,

“The Watchman Camera is designed to continually monitor traffic flow, transmitting images to the Traffic and Road Safety Unit at DoT in Douglas. Analysis of the data received will help the RSU establish the reasons for the increase in the number of collisions. Although vehicle details are recorded, the camera is not used for speed enforcement. However, the Department hopes that the presence of a safety camera and the warning signs leading up to it will have a positive effect on excessive speeds, with an overall result of fewer collisions and casualties.”

The Watchman Camera can be easily relocated and it is envisaged that it will be deployed at other problem sites on the Island as part of the Department’s proactive and ongoing road safety campaign.

The Department will pass all details of offences to the Isle of Man Constabulary. However it is hoped that the presence of the cameras will stamp out the unacceptable practice of ignoring speed limits and traffic signals.

Photo Caption (left to right):
Back Row - Simon Barker, Traffic & Safety Manager, Department of Transport, Fiona Harcourt, Manager & Owner of Cranfield Nursery, Captain Andrew Douglas, Political Member for Highways, Department of Transport
Front Row – Olivia Forrester, Harris Simpson, Chloe Dolman, Gabriel Kay, Sinead Cox

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