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Cutting edge cameras aim to stop crashes

PUBLISHED: 19:46 18 March 2010 | UPDATED: 17:07 30 June 2010

Tracey Gray

NEW speed cameras - the first of their type in the country - have been set up on a busy stretch of Norfolk road as part of a wider project aimed at reducing accidents on rural roads.

NEW speed cameras - the first of their type in the country - have been set up on a busy stretch of Norfolk road as part of a wider project aimed at reducing accidents on rural roads.

Seven camera stands which measure average speed, have been placed all along the A149 between Potter Heigham and the junction with the A1151 at Cats Common near Wayford, which has a speed limit varying between 50mph and 60mph.

The stands, which have cameras facing both ways, should be active by the end of this month.

They are part of the Government's Rural Road Safety Demonstration Project where four councils, Norfolk, Devon, Lincolnshire, and Northamptonshire, have been asked to pilot new rural road safety initiatives on behalf of the Department for Transport.

As well as the cameras, the project, which in Norfolk is funded with £1.5m from the Department for Transport, also requires local authorities to look at and report on key problems facing drivers on rural roads.

John Birchall from Norfolk County Council's transport department, said other measures they had introduced included the planting of trees in approaches to villages and replacing some posts along the road with readily collapsible ones, so the impact is less if someone should crash into them.

Tree planting has already taken place on a number of roads including a through-road in Martham and there are similar schemes in Mundesley, Overstrand and Horstead.

The idea is that the roadside trees will create an 'avenue effect' and encourage drivers to slow down along roads which have previously had a history of speeding.

Mr Birchall said they are also working with local schools and villages on speed initiatives making people look at the issue of speeding and how it can be reduced.

He said: “The project encompasses a whole range of initiatives to enforce rural road safety on fast rural A and B Roads. We have also been working in Hemsby with people to change the feel of the village centre there making people drive accordingly, to stop it feeling as if it is dominated by cars.”

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