Bristol and Somerset motorbike speed camera scheme starts

Lorry passes speed camera sign Image copyright PA
Image caption Fixed speed cameras are due to be turned back on in the area in the next few months

Police motorbikes fitted with speed cameras are to be used to trap speeding motorists in Bristol and Somerset.

Avon and Somerset Police said the three bikes will enable the force, for the first time, to monitor areas its speed camera vans cannot access.

The bikes will support nine speed enforcement vans, which catch more than 66,000 speeding motorists a year.

Also, a number of road-side cameras across the region will be switched back on in the next few months.

They were deactivated in 2011 after the area's safety camera partnership was dissolved.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said the move has come because road safety is the most common issue raised with her by local people.

Image copyright Avon and somerset police
Image caption The three new camera bikes will support the region's nine speed vans

She said it is "only right" that her Police and Crime Plan tackles the issues that "most affect residents".

'Retrograde step'

Ch Supt Ian Smith said the motorbikes "will extend the support we are able to offer communities affected by speeding".

"Often we have to decline requests from local residents to do enforcement activity in their area because our vans cannot be deployed due to their size," he said.

"As the motorbikes are smaller we'll now be able to support many of those places."

However, the Alliance of British Drivers said the move was "a retrograde step".

It will do nothing except alienate drivers," a spokesman said.

"We need to re-examine a lot of our speed limits which have been reduced to a level where no one obeys them, and the police should become much more visible, as drivers behave more sensibly when there is a police presence".

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