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Plans to turn Somerset's speed cameras back on
4:00pm Thursday 10th October 2013 in News
A MOTHER whose daughter was killed in a car crash has backed plans to turn speed cameras in Somerset back on – if evidence shows they make a difference.
Bethany-Paige Adams, 17, died when the speeding car she was travelling in lost control and hit a tree on the A358 in West Somerset.
This week, her mum, Helen Adams, told the County Gazette it was vital motorists stick to the speed limit and backed calls from Avon and Somerset Chief Constable Nick Gargan to switch the cameras on.
She said: “If you’re driving within the speed limit then it shouldn’t make a difference if they’re on or off but for those who do speed they should be on if it’s going to help save lives.”
Following their daughter’s death last year, Mrs Adams and her husband set up “Stand Against Speed 4 Bethany” to raise awareness of driver safety among young adults.
Fixed Speed Cameras were made inactive in Somerset in 2011 after the government withdrew its funding for the Safety Camera Partnership which operated them.
Police say 48 people have died on the region’s roads so far this year, two more than in the whole of 2012 and 16 more than in 2011.
Mr Gargan has described the figures as a “significant concern”.
He said: “The best way to cut the number of people being killed or seriously injured is by having a deterrent.
“Part of that could be education and changing the public attitude, it could be community speed watch, officers enforcing the law, fixed speed cameras or mobile van units.
“When I was first asked to consider speed camera I was surprised they were not on and after looking at the evidence we found they do more good than harm.”
A spokesman for Somerset County Council, which is in charge of the county’s highways, said the call from Mr Gargan to switch cameras back on is contrary to the advice given in 2010.
He said: “Police told us fixed speed cameras were not effective in reducing the speeds of drivers.
“We have asked for evidence that turning them back on will protect Somerset residents and look forward to receiving this.”
- Mr and Mrs Adams’ speeding group received a boost this week thanks to a donation of £250 from social housing group Magna.
Mrs Adams said: “A minibus has already been donated to us to use but this money means we can take more people from the area to the course where they participate in activities that look at the consequence of speed.
“You see so many people now driving while using their mobile phones and they don’t seem aware of the consequences and the responsibility they have not just to themselves but to passengers and other road users.”
Mr Gargan added: “The fundamental thing is getting drivers to think about their speed because their driver error can cost the lives of other people who were driving appropriately.
“Anyone massively exceeding the speed limit is creating danger and it is a selfish act.”
Any 17- to 24-year-olds who would like to take part in the “Choice and Consequence course” are invited to contact Mrs Adams on the “Stand Against Speed 4 Bethany” page via Facebook.
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