Authorities propose new, better camera system to nab speedsters

Authorities propose one-year trial for an average speed camera system on Shenzhen Bay Bridge

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 May, 2013, 3:11am

Transport chiefs have proposed a new speed camera system that covers an extended section of a road rather than just one location which they say could be more effective in catching speedsters.

They want to install the average speed camera system (ASCS) on the Shenzhen Bay Bridge for a year's trial from December next year. In a document prepared for discussion by the Legislative Council transport panel on Friday, the Transport and Housing Bureau says the present cameras are "localised" and their effect "undesirable" as drivers could slow down before a camera and accelerate after it.

A series of these cameras would be needed to cover several kilometres of roads, it says.

But the averaging system uses a pair of cameras installed at the entrance and the exit of a road section, identifying individual vehicles using number plate recognition technology as they pass through. The vehicles' average speed over the section would then be calculated.

The bureau said that if the HK$11 million trial proved effective, police would continue using the system on the bridge.

Overseas experience showed the system could cut down both the crash rates and casualties on roads in general, it said.

If a vehicle's average is below the limit, the captured data would be immediately discarded. Otherwise, it will be downloaded to the police computer system for prosecution.

Procurement and installation of equipment for the trial is estimated at more than HK$11 million. There is an annual expenditure of about HK$1.7 million for maintenance and telecommunication line rental from the second year if the trial is successful.

The bureau plans to seek funding approval from the Legco's finance committee before July. It said the average number of speeding prosecutions was 223,584 a year for the past three years.