Maldon District Council to loan 'State-of-the-art' speed cameras to Chelmsford as part of scheme to tackle road safety

By Piers Meyler - Local Democracy Reporter

21st Nov 2023 | Local News

Road safety is marked as a priority in the Maldon District (Photo Credit: Microsoft Map, The Editor)
Road safety is marked as a priority in the Maldon District (Photo Credit: Microsoft Map, The Editor)

Chelmsford City Council says it cannot afford a special state-of-the-art speed camera, but could instead hire one from Maldon District Council as part of its aim in assisting to reduce casualties on roads in the area.

This would be part of a pilot arrangement when staffing becomes available in February 2024. The TruCAM speed recording camera is used across Maldon – especially the Dengie – where communities have raised growing concerns about road safety in their towns and villages.

Special training has been given to community engagement officers on how to use the hand-held device, which captures video evidence and uses high-resolution images to instantly identify speeding drivers. Vehicle details can be uploaded electronically and tickets are posted straight to the offending motorists – removing the need for police officers to pull over a vehicle and issue an on-the-spot fine.

Councillor Rose Moore, Cabinet Member for a Greener and Safer Chelmsford, said the council could not justify spending up to £18,500 on a new device but thought the trial from Maldon would offer value for money.

She said: "I am happy to say there is interest but they are in the process of recruiting officers at the moment so wouldn't be in a position to offer such a service until February 2024 at the earliest.

"It should be noted though that road safety has been marked out as a strategic priority in Maldon district. That is because it has relative low crime rates and a rural road network, particularly in the Dengie, is somewhat challenging and does cause a high number of road traffic collisions.

"In Chelmsford, the community safety partnership has more challenging priorities but we do receive a good and proportionate amount of speed enforcement by the Safer Essex Road Partnership."

She added: "In the meantime, we are challenged with resourcing. I cannot guarantee we will be able to do anything more than that February pilot."

Councillor Andrew Thorpe-Apps (Cons, Writtle) said: "It strikes me that that would be a bit more of an expensive way of doing it by calling in a resource from a neighbouring authority rather than having a resource ourselves."

     

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