New ANPR van can catch multiple speeding drivers at once
New speed camera technology has been deployed in Durham to help encourage drivers to stick to the speed limit.
Durham Constabulary has become the first force in the country to use specialist Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology after officers with the Crook Neighbourhood Police Team worked with traffic sign firm Westcotec to design their own Speedwatch van.
The traditional Speedwatch scheme sees volunteers use a speed matrix to manually record speeding drivers who pass them.
However, this involves relying on the accuracy of the volunteers’ eyes and multiple vehicles can be difficult to register all at once, especially in harsh weather conditions, the police force explained.
The new van uses the latest intelligent radar technology, an ANPR camera and a speed indicator display with a safety camera warning.
If vehicles are above the speed limit, the sign flashes in warning as the driver approaches and if the driver continues to speed, the camera captures the registration of the vehicle along with its speed.
The camera can also register multiple vehicles at a time, making results much more reliable.
Details of speeding offences captured by the camera are sent through to a laptop operated by volunteers in the front cabin of the van. In the future, warning letters will be automatically generated by the system and sent to the driver, and further action can be taken if drivers are caught multiple times.
Welcoming the launch of the Speedwatch van, PC Ellis Hutchinson, who led the project, said: “We are confident this will contribute to reducing casualties and educate drivers on the importance of sticking to the speed limit.”
Westcotec managing director Chris Spinks, a former chief inspector with Norfolk Police, added: “It’s a really clear and visible deterrent to slow people down and means people can have that choice to slow down before they get clocked.”
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