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Speed cameras approved for use in Jersey

Speed cameras approved for use in Jersey

Thursday 24 September 2020

Speed cameras approved for use in Jersey


Politicians have approved the use of speed cameras to help the Honorary Police catch speeding drivers in Jersey.

The decision came after an extended debate, which eventually saw the States Assembly vote in favour of allowing Honorary Police to employ mobile speed cameras and use the data as evidence in criminal cases – though specifics of how they will be implemented are yet to be figured out.

The proposition was brought forward by St John Constable Chris Taylor, who was recently fined £4,000 after being found guilty of dangerous driving. 

Constable Taylor said on the topic of speeding that “we’ve identified a problem and I’d like to do something about it.”  

Indeed, the debate spurned talk of a perceived speeding problem in the island overall, with St. Ouen Deputy Richard Buchanan decrying a “cunning and devious” network of speeding on the island.

Not all Members were convinced by the part of the proposition that said the cameras could be used as “evidence in any criminal case”, though.

Deputy Kirsten Morel called the proposition “the beginning of a surveillance state” and a “a fundamental attack on our freedoms in Jersey.” 

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Pictured: Constable Chris Taylor said that the States had "identified a problem" with speeding. 

Others such as St. Helier Deputy Geoff Southern criticised the overall proposition as being “half-baked” and lacking detail, and there were questions from members as to why the proposition only specifies Honorary Officers and not the States of Jersey Police, or what the costs of the cameras would be. 

On this topic of costs and pragmatics, St. Lawrence Constable Deidre Mezbourian queried how many Constables had actually been consulted, stating she herself had not been fully informed: “No one has mentioned it to me at all, I have not been consulted, I have no idea how much it would cost the parishioners of St. Lawrence if this was to be introduced, and that gives me cause for concern.”

However, St. Lawrence Deputy Gregory Guida argued that any cost would be worth it, saying: “As far as I can see, there is only one camera that is available on the market that could be agreed and that could be made legal for use in Jersey."

“Yes, it is very near £20,000 of investment, but… if we save a couple of lives in the next ten years, maybe it is worth £20,000,” he added, emphasising that no Parishes would be forced to act on the proposition.

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Pictured: It is not yet decided how exactly the cameras would be used and what the financial and manpower implications would be.

While States Members backed the move to enable the use of speed cameras, they rejected part of Constable Taylor's proposal to introduce stricter sentences for drivers found guilty of driving 30mph over the limit.

In his summing up statement, Constable Taylor thanked his colleagues for their input, remarking he had not expected it to have been such a “long and lively debate”, and that he was “sure and confident” that the Infrastructure Minister would be able to come back to the Assembly with a “well-researched law."

He also stated that he was firmly against a fixed penalty system and that the Parish Hall system for offences would be retained. 

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Posted by nigel pearce on
There is a big difference between speeding and just going over the speed limits which are set far too low in many areas of the island. Doing slightly more than the set limits is not usually dangerous.
It seems that Constable Taylor has turned gamekeeper from poacher.
Posted by Philip Hudson on
This is not about road safety
This is about money and collecting more money from motorists
And of course politicians would vote for this action why would they not it is well documented in the UK the millions they steal from. TheMotorists""
Posted by Jon Jon on
Are we going to see the parish rates increasing to finance this? I know some hobby bobbies who will be clapping their hands with joy over this, more power to their heads, and can I ask if they will be doing checks at 2 in the morning or in bed!Certainly look out for flashing car headlights warning you ones about.Over speed limits, most of the time your clueless as to what speed you should be going at ,15,20,30,40...go back to making it a single speed limit even if it was 30.
Posted by JulianSpurr83 on
Personally, I don't see this as a political issue, and have difficulty in sympathising with 'the poor motorist' who doesn't obey the rules. I didn't think that Constable Taylor was found guilty of speeding, so hardly gamekeeper turned poacher in this case. We all have licences to drive - that is a permit or permission to do so and within laid down rules and guidelines for the safety of the general public. If you abuse that licence, that permission and/or those rules, you run the risk of being punished, even to the extent of having that licence revoked. If you abuse it, you could lose it... Safety is the paramount issue, and those that try to deflect the true reasoning for the use of cameras by saying 'it's only for income...' are misguided, certainly in this instance, given the cost of introduction. Breaking the speed limit is endemic in Jersey - perhaps we do have too many limits and some are too low, but that is a separate issue and needs dealing with in a different way, not by speeding or condoning speeding. If there is a speed limit in place by law, that limit should be enforced. If the law is wrong, it shouldn't be there in the first place and that should be addressed.
Posted by Martin Journeaux on
I think great credence must be given to Mr Taylor,s support of speed cameras - as he is a disqualified driver he is surely now qualified to say when it comes to vehicles, what can be dangerous!
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