£10,000 digital speed cameras launched in Leeds

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The first digital speed cameras for West Yorkshire have been installed on a section of York Road at Killingbeck in Leeds.

The new Truvelo cameras, which can wirelessly transfer images of speeding cars, are the first to be set up by West Yorkshire Casualty Reduction Partnership.

NEW LOOK: One of the digital cameras on York Road in Killingbeck, Leeds. PIC: James Hardisty

NEW LOOK: One of the digital cameras on York Road in Killingbeck, Leeds. PIC: James Hardisty

Unlike current speed cameras, the new units can monitor traffic in two directions simultaneously.

Each camera housing alone costs £10,000 to buy and install. But partnership chiefs say the new cameras cost less to operate as there is no film to manually remove and process.

There are currently 410 speed camera housings in West Yorkshire.

New digital speed cameras are planned at a site in the Walton area of Wakefield later this year and more are planned across the county as part of a replacement programme in coming years.

Simon D’Vali, chair of West Yorkshire Casualty Reduction Partnership, said: “The new cameras on York Road are the first sites in Leeds district to have been replaced with modern digital cameras. These sites have been at the road side for 13 years, camera housings do not last forever and in the intervening time camera technology has moved on. The West Yorkshire Casualty Reduction Partnership has a rolling programme that, over the course of 20 or 30 years, will see all the county’s cameras moved to digital.

“The sites on York Road were chosen to do first as the annual number of collisions involving fatal or serious injury has halved since cameras were installed.

“The new digital sites transmit photographs and speed readings directly to the back office for checking, there is no requirement for a technician to drive to site, collect the film, then develop it.”

Mr D’Vali added: “The partnership exists to reduce casualties. We know safety cameras are an effective tool to do this. We are making savings, so with the digital cameras we can effectively do more for less money.”

Laura Woods, spokeswoman for road safety charity Brake, said: “Brake welcomes this move to upgrade the speed camera network in Leeds and across West Yorkshire. Replacing old analogue cameras with digital cameras will reduce running costs, saving money and, we hope, allow for further investment into road safety across the region. Speeding kills, so it is vital that drivers who take this appalling risk are caught and sanctioned.”