Belfast Telegraph

Revealed: Speed camera roads in Northern Ireland where most offenders are caught

43,000 drivers caught and £2.5 million in fines in one year

By Cate McCurry

Almost 120 drivers a day are caught speeding on Northern Ireland's roads.

The hotspots are revealed in a new report that shows more than 43,000 drivers were caught going too fast in 2016.

Each offender is usually hit with a £60 fine, meaning in total the detections will have generated almost £2.6m.

The A1 Saintfield Road remains the most likely place motorists will pick up a speeding ticket after 2,085 cars were clocked over the limit last year.

Statistics released by the Road Safety Partnership (RSP) in its annual report yesterday show that speed camera sites picked up a total of 43,568 offenders - and 314 of these were drivers who ran a red light.

Some offenders may be sent on a speed awareness course as an alternative to receiving penalty points.

Others will be hit with a fine of £60 or more, and in some circumstances receive penalty points.

The number of detections has soared in recent years.

Last year's total was more than four times that recorded in 2004 - largely due to reductions in the threshold at which a driver can be caught speeding in 2010, and again in 2012.

Some of the other prolific speeding spots last year included the Shore Road, with 1,584 offenders, and the Dublin Road, Newry, with 1,123 speeding motorists. Jason Wakeford, director of campaigns for road safety charity Brake, said: "It's shocking to see so many people caught speeding in Northern Ireland last year.

"Drivers who travel above the speed limit put themselves and other road users in danger.

"We see every day the devastating impact road crashes caused by speeding have on families and communities across the country.

"We need traffic enforcement to be made a national policing priority, as well as higher on-the-spot fines and tougher sentencing to provide a real deterrent to risky law-breaking drivers."

Inspector Rosie Leech of the PSNI's Roads Policing Unit said speed was a major factor in serious and fatal accidents.

"Sadly, there are families, groups of friends, work colleagues and communities across Northern Ireland who are coming to terms with the loss of loved ones who were killed in road traffic collisions.

"The stark reality is that inappropriate speed for the conditions is consistently one of the main causes of the most serious collisions on roads here which kill and seriously injure people, so it is disappointing that despite a drop in safety camera deployments, so many people are still being detected taking unnecessary and dangerous risks, whether speeding or running red traffic lights."

Further analysis of the speed cameras revealed that more than two-thirds of all speed offences were on 30mph roads.

The highest speed recorded was 109mph on the notorious A1, which runs from Belfast via Lisburn and Banbridge to the border with the Republic south of Newry

The most prolific speeding offenders were aged between 40 and 54 (12,547 offenders), while a further 12,217 were aged between 25 and 39.

Drivers under 25 accounted for only 9% of those detected.

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