As frustrating as it is to be nabbed by an unspotted traffic warden after you’ve double parked to nip into the post office, motorists in Cardiff could soon be penalised by an even harder to avoid threat: bus mounted CCTV cameras.
Cardiff council is seeking new powers from the Welsh Government to crack down on a number of moving traffic offences, ranging from stopping in yellow box junctions, driving in bus lanes and making illegal U-turns.
The council has stated that a crackdown on such behaviour will ease congestion around the city, with the cash raised being invested in highway projects.
Using CCTV to catch motorists flouting the law is nothing new. Boroughs in London have utilised CCTV equipped cars to great effect.
With fines up to £130 each, Hammersmith and Fulham council alone has raised £2 million last year by fining over 29,000 motorists, who often don’t know they’ve been issued a ticket until it drops on their doormat.
If implemented in Cardiff, the technology will be used to target problem areas, such as schools at pick-up and drop-off times and areas in the city where buses have priority.
“The primary motive is not to make money. The income will pay for the system and any surplus will fund highways-related projects,” said Councillor Ralph Cook to Wales Online.
“The motive is that we need to keep Cardiff moving and to persuade people who do not need to use their cars to leave them at home.”
The Institute of Advanced Motorists in Wales has warned that the council should use common sense when issuing fines to motorists.
Spokesman Tim Shallcross said: “In London boroughs people have been prosecuted for straying into bus lanes when they’ve only done it to get out of the way of an ambulance or fire engine.
“There needs to be common sense. But these are offences and if you do not want to get caught then don’t commit the offence.”
July 2, 2013