Cameras set to trap speeding motorists

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Camera traps to catch speeding motorists began operating in London yesterday. Police have targeted 21 accident black spots on trunk roads in west London for the first trial of the system in which people will be prosecuted.

The cameras, set in boxes above the road, will take pictures of cars while radar clocks their speed. A flash will be a signal to the motorist that he is travelling too fast. If the trial, costing 360,000 and covering 50 miles of trunk road, is successful, the system is expected to be introduced in other areas.

Steven Norris, Minister of Transport for London, said: 'We are only putting these cameras in sites where conventional techniques have failed .. all the evidence is that when you apply this system people start taking their speed seriously.'

Although there are 21 sites, cameras will be installed at only three of them at a time. The rest will be 'dummies' designed to act as a deterrent, but will not take pictures.

The cameras will be moved from site to site, so it will not be possible to tell which box contains a 'live' camera.

Mr Norris also warned people against using special number plates which cannot be photographed to try to avert detection.

'If you buy one of these number plates you've been suckered. We actually get a better quality picture out of these than we do with conventional plates. The thing is a complete scam,' he said.

Motorists who are prosecuted will receive a letter in the post a matter of days after they have been caught on camera.