Speeding motorists will have less ability to hide under new technology allowing road safety camera to work better at night.
Infra-red lights which help roadside speed cameras work in the dark will help efforts on poorly or unlit roads, according to the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Road Safety Partnership.
Until now, a number of motorists have evaded detection because the partnership’s mobile speed vans’ cameras could not pick out registration plates in the dark.
The new infra-red equipment, which consists of three small banks of 24 bulbs mounted on the rear of the vehicles, first went on the road this week.
They are pointed in the direction the unit’s camera is facing and illuminate vehicles’ registration plates, the Leicester Mercury reports.
The partnership’s five camera vans caught approximately 19,000 speeding drivers in 2016 by photographing their vehicles, clocking their speeds and sending penalty notices to the registered keepers.
However, partnership spokesman Jonathan Clarkson said: “The existing technology did not work particularly well in unlit streets and there is a proportion of footage the camera guys get which they can’t do anything with because it is too dark.
“These infra-red lights do not glare or blind drivers – but for the camera teams working in poorly or unlit roads it’s like daylight.
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“As well as being used at night, it’s also worth remembering that it gets dark early in the day during the autumn and winter months.”
Speeding is a major factor in deaths and injuries on the road and is tackled throughout the year under the partnership’s ongoing Fatal 4 campaign.
This also tracks down motorists who use their mobile phones at the wheel, drink drive or do not wear their seat belt.
Tens of thousands of street lights across the county are being switched off or dimmed from midnight to dawn as part of a cost savings plan by Leicestershire County Council.
The move has affected both rural and major roads – many of them sites where residents have reported speeding problems.
Deborah Collier, safety camera team leader for the partnership, said: “We have purchased two sets of infra-red lamps which will enable our camera van officers to conduct mobile speed enforcement on unlit roads.
“This will increase our enforcement capability at mobile speed sites on such roads, assisting in keeping speeds down and hopefully reducing casualties on our rural roads.”
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Earlier this month, the Leicester Mercury reported that city and county drivers received speeding fines totalling well over £1 million in 2016.
In the year up to December 22, 54,007 notices were sent out to drivers, compared with 52,873 last year.
Throughout the county, more than 19,000 of the tickets issued were to people caught by one of the partnership’s five mobile speed camera vans.
Speeding fines are paid to central government, rather than the police or councils.