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Home-grown speed camera now on test

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A NEW generation of speed cameras – developed by a firm with headquarters in Hampshire that uses satellites to put the brakes on motorists is undergoing secret trials.

The SpeedSpike system from Chandler’s Ford based PIPS Technology uses automatic number plate recognition and the satellite based global positioning system to capture the positions of cars and then calculate an average speed over a distance. A record is made of cars found to be breaking speed limits and police hope it can recreate the system used to govern speed in motorway contraflows on any road.

PIPS said it could be used in a number of areas including motorways, A-roads, urban “rat runs” and to enforce speed restrictions around schools.

The new system has test sites on Salter Road in Southwark, south London, and the A374 from Torpoint to Antony in Cornwall, the company revealed in written evidence to the House of Commons Transport select committee.

Police superintendent Tim Swarbrick, chairman of the Devon and Cornwall Safety Camera partnership, said: “Average speed cameras have proved successful in roadworks on major trunk roads. The equipment is not being used for enforcement purposes as it is not Home Office approved at this stage.”

The company, with headquarters in the US, created the Spike Automatic Number Plate Recognition camera used in the London congestion charging zone. The Spike won the Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2005.

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