Motorists asked to smile for 'helmet-cam!'

TAILGATING and speeding motorists on North Devon roads could see their misdemeanours replayed to them minutes later following the introduction of new Helmet-cams for police motorcyclists. The motorcycle traffic patrols as part of the Department for Tran

TAILGATING and speeding motorists on North Devon roads could see their misdemeanours replayed to them minutes later following the introduction of new "Helmet-cams" for police motorcyclists.

The motorcycle traffic patrols as part of the Department for Transport funded Devon Country Mile project and are now in use on roads such as the A361 North Devon Link Road and the A377 where known safety issues include close following and inappropriate or excessive speeds.

Their use has proved successful so far and plans are already in place to extend them to unmarked police motorcycles, with drivers blissfully unaware they are being filmed.

The systems are capable of producing high quality images, recorded to a hard drive and offering instant replay, letting officers show drivers or riders their bad driving and provide suitable on-the-spot advice.


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Offences captured by the new system range from using mobile phones on the move to vehicle registration issues, though the equipment is not currently being used to provide prosecution evidence. But pictures can be readily downloaded, and drivers are being regularly reported for offences as a result of the footage.

"These cameras are a new tool in our ongoing campaign to improve driving standards in Devon," said Inspector Richard Pryce, from Devon and Cornwall Constabulary's Road Policing Unit.

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"These cameras are not there to trap people or raise revenue, but with instant replay they can be used to show drivers the error of their ways and work towards improving driver behaviour.

"These cameras are part of Devon County Council's Country Mile project which is working closely with the police to reduce the number of injuries caused on our roads each year and provide a safe transport network for motorists to use."

The county council, police, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, Devon and Cornwall Safety Camera Partnership, Devon Primary Care Trust and South Western Ambulance Service are all part of the Devon Country Mile initiative to improve rural road safety, specifically in the area between Exeter and Barnstaple, bordered by the A361, the A377 and the A396. The project is supported by the Department for Transport.

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