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Department Of Transport To Commission Watchman Safety Camera This Week 13 November 2006

The Department of Transport is pleased to announce that the Island’s first Watchman Safety Camera system is due to be commissioned at Ballaugh Bridge on Thursday 16th November 2006.

The Watchman Safety Camera system consists of two cameras, a radar unit and a speed activated sign.

The speed activated sign is positioned approximately 100 metres in front of the camera unit from the Kirk Michael direction. The sign has been installed to give road users advance notice of the camera and encourage them to check how they're driving - especially their speed - and if necessary, slow down so that there'll be less chance of them becoming, or causing, the next casualty.

The first camera will record an overview of the Ballaugh Bridge junction at two frames per second, 24 hours a day. This information will be invaluable to Department engineers, allowing them to more easily determine the cause of any accident or near miss that occurs at the junction.

Department of Transport Traffic Engineer Hazel Fletcher comments,

“The data collected by this camera will allow us to monitor the area, more specifically study vehicle movements and road collisions in detail. We will then be in a position to identify the most appropriate measures that may prevent any future accidents at Ballaugh Bridge.”
The second camera has been installed to take still photographs of all vehicles identified by the radar unit as travelling above a preset speed. This information will quickly identify specific groups of road users and allow the Department to target its road safety education initiatives most effectively.
Unlike the Red Light Safety camera installed at Woodbourne Road in Douglas, this Watchman Safety Camera system is not approved for enforcement either in the UK or in the Isle of Man. It has been installed to help make the road safer for everyone."

Mrs Fletcher continues,

“The Department’s main priority is to reduce the number of casualties on our roads. We could have chosen to invest in state of the art technology that would penalise drivers and raise revenue, but instead we have put our faith in a system that reinforces the natural inclination of drivers to drive according to the conditions.”
“We will all feel the benefit if road users take notice and reduce their speed, as it is a proven method of decreasing both the number and severity of road accidents. Introducing physical traffic calming measures are a practical way of achieving this, however they are not suitable at all locations. As such, the Department will continue to work in partnership with local authorities with our speed activated warning systems across the Island. The new Watchman Camera system is an extension of this programme, with the added benefit of gathering valuable data for further study.”

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