March 9 2014 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Senior reporter
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Redbridge Council has been accused of “harvesting” fines with new automatic cameras to catch drivers at junctions.
The cameras are the first of their kind in the country and have automatically issued at least 915 tickets so far.
AA president Edmund King said: “There needs to be the safeguard that, if this system starts fining drivers on an industrial scale, an analysis of the problem junctions takes place.
“The ticket haul may be partly down to the road layout.”
Currently, drivers breaking the rules must be seen on camera by an operator before the £130 fine is issued.
Now cameras will automatically detect banned turns or yellow-box encroachments, and use number plate recognition to identify vehicles.
A council spokesman said the cameras are needed to enforce restrictions already in place, which are being “ignored” by drivers.
He added: “The council does not introduce road safety restrictions to raise an income - they are there to ensure that the people using our roads and pavements can do so safely, and that traffic can move freely.”
The system has been running at four locations since November at the junctions of High Road, Woodford Green, with Snakes Lane West and Johnston Road.
It also covers the Chadwell Heath Lane junction with High Road, Chadwell Heath, and the junction between High Road and Clements Road, Ilford.
“Videalert” cameras are being made available to councils nationwide for £16,000.