New traffic light cameras will capture drivers crossing the high-speed line while green

Violators of traffic light rules in Lancashire could brace themselves for a costly reminder of road rules after plans were unveiled to bring specialist infrared cameras to the county to catch risk-taking motorists.

The kit is designed to detect drivers who jump lights when they are red or who exceed the speed limit through a junction when they are green.

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The cameras are initially to be installed at two light-controlled locations on the A59 county road in Ormskirk – the notorious ‘Five Ways’ junction with Southport Road and, just a few hundred yards away, the point where the main road meets Hayfield Road. However, if the concept proves successful, it could be rolled out elsewhere in the Lancashire County Council area.

A meeting of the authority’s cabinet heard the technology had already been deployed in Blackburn with Darwen and was routinely capturing up to 70 offenses a day in that corner of the county alone.

The equipment does not require underground wiring works to be installed and can therefore be set up without digging the road. In addition to minimizing traffic disruption, maintenance and troubleshooting are also made easier.

Simple installation means the cameras can even be rotated around different junctions as problem hotspots arise.

Charlie Edwards, Tory Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said if Ormskirk’s trial is successful he would like to see the deterrent extended to other “suitable places” in Lancashire.

Motorists will be punched in the pocket with fixed penalty notices for not stopping at red lights or speeding on green, but the hope of motorway bosses is that the cameras will help tackle driving styles which could be far more costly than any fine.

Citing the ‘devastating’ toll of deaths and serious injuries to children, particularly on Lancashire roads, County Cllr Edwards said it was something ‘we really need to do everything we can to address’ .

The latest data shows there are 33.8 deaths or serious injuries per 100,000 young people in the county, compared to an English average of 18.

The Labor opposition group has welcomed the rollout of the new cameras, with Deputy Leader Lorraine Beavers raising the possibility of them being installed by default on all new traffic lights in the county – and funding the retrofitting of existing ones via the fines that the infrared kit will generate.

Labor leader Azhar Ali said he hoped “habits will change” when drivers learn their traffic light technique is being scrutinized. He also said that many of Lancashire’s more than 200 parish and town councils had expressed an interest in acquiring various types of road camera equipment in their area – and if they could be given any indication in time appropriate for the quantity of infrared devices. cost, they could make the appropriate adjustments to their municipal fiscal precepts for the coming year.

The issue will likely be discussed at an upcoming Parish and Town Council Highways-themed gathering hosted by County Cllr Edwards.

Michael Green, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said he believed all advisers would have “examples [of] where we could put it to good use in the future”.

He added: “It’s a good plan to tackle an issue that’s important to our residents – traffic speed is often raised as a concern and it’s good that we’re looking at new ways to address this. problem.”

The Ormskirk cameras are being partly funded by the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership after accident data from the junctions where they are to be installed revealed a number of casualties following red lights.

Lancashire County Council will cover the rest of the cost, but the overall bill was discussed in a closed-door part of the meeting. Cabinet members approved a waiver from the usual procurement rules to allow the authority to buy directly from the only supplier of this type of infrared system which is approved by the Home Office, Jenoptik Limited.

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