Drivers who enter yellow-box junctions without ensuring their exit is clear may find an unwelcome fine landing on their doormat, after the introduction of the country’s first automated CCTV enforcement system.
Redbridge council in east London has installed the new system to catch out motorists causing traffic congestion by stopping or making illegal turns in the area’s numerous yellow-box junctions.
The unattended system can automatically identify offending drivers and issue a £130 penalty. Currently footage of yellow-box abusers needs to be viewed by a camera operator to verify offences committed.
“We are concerned that this automated system is more about harvesting motorists for money and profit than deterring bad driver behaviour.” – Edmund King, AA President
The system, which has been installed at four locations in the borough, uses Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology to, "capture more offences than can be achieved by traditional legacy solutions and will deliver a higher return on investment and compliance whilst increasing road safety wherever it is deployed,” a council spokesman told The Courier.
The costs for the system’s installation are expected to be covered by the increased issue of Penalty Charge Notices for breaches of traffic regulations.
Speaking to The Courier, Redbridge council's environment, transportation and crime committee head, Shoaib Patel, said: "The system was installed to counter the high number of drivers that were ignoring the traffic restrictions that were in place, causing severe safety hazards to pedestrians and other drivers.
"The system is working well and we have captured a number of vehicles committing serious traffic contraventions, which is promising."
However, motoring organisations have expressed concerns over the new system.
"We are concerned that this automated system is more about harvesting motorists for money and profit than deterring bad driver behaviour,” said AA president Edmund King.
"There needs to be the safeguard that, if this system starts fining drivers on an industrial scale, an analysis of the problem junctions takes place. The ticket haul may be partly down to the road layout.
"There is also the added concern that, if signing is inadequate, local drivers may learn to be wary but outsiders may be caught time after time for mistakes, minor infringements or circumstances outside their control, such as making way for emergency vehicles."
Are automated cameras needed to aid traffic flow, or are they just another tax on already beleaguered motorists? Have your say below.