No hiding place for motorists as damaged speed cameras in Lincolnshire will be repaired

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DAMAGED speed cameras will be repaired and updated within the next two years.

Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership will carry out maintenance on one third of the county’s cameras, including one in Baston and one on the A16 near Deeping St James.

And some cameras could be updated to new digital models, which send data to the police control centre straight away and do not use film.

The partnership, which comprises representatives from six organisations, including the county council, police and NHS, has had money set aside for some time for the repairs, but was waiting for the government to give speed cameras the green light after suggestions they could be scrapped.

A full camera replacement costs about £40,000, but the level of repairs required on each camera is as yet unknown.

The partnership’s communications manager John Siddle said: “Some cameras only need a lick of paint, which costs just a few hundred pounds.

“Some repairs can be done by us, and some will need the manufacturer’s help.

“We will not know the full cost of the repairs until we have carried them all out.”

The partnership hopes updating to digital cameras will stop people vandalising them in an attempt to avoid being caught.

Mr Siddle added: “The digital update takes away the film so that data is not stored in the camera.

“This means that if you are caught, going back and damaging the camera will not erase the data.”

The partnership is keen to change the perception of speed cameras from money-making devices to vital safety measures.

In the three years before a camera was installed on the A15 in Baston in 1998 there were three deaths or serious injuries from car crashes.

But in the 14 years since there have only been three serious accidents.

And the A16 camera, near the Spalding Road junction, has a similar record with three serious accidents in three years before installation in 2005 and just one in seven years afterwards.

This shows that cameras do save lives, according to Mr Siddle.

He said: “We only put cameras on stretches of road where we need the traffic to slow down, and where there have been deaths or serious injuries before.

“The money we take from speeding offences now has to be put straight back into road safety education, from Key Stage 2 all the way through to adult courses. It can’t go anywhere else.

“When you are caught speeding you either receive a £60 fine and three points on your licence, or you can choose to pay £85 for a speed awareness course.

“The course fee goes straight back into road safety education across the county.”