A HIGHWAYS boss has issued a stark warning to speeding motorists after police figures revealed more than 2,000 drivers had been caught exceeding 70mph on one stretch of road.
North Yorkshire County Council executive member for highways Councillor Gareth Dadd said the number of motorists driving at high speeds on the A19 near South Kilvington had sparked concerns that lives could be lost.
He said data from North Yorkshire Police’s three mobile camera vans since they were launched last April appeared to show that visitors to the county were regularly ignoring speed limits, days after two Leeds men were sentenced for speeding at 144mph on the A19 at Crathorne.
Analysis of offences recorded on the A19 near South Kilvington by North Yorkshire Police’s three mobile safety cameras has revealed:
- The number of offences recorded there per visit is more than double any other A-road in the area
- Officers have caught more than two motorists a minute speeding there on some visits
- Peaks in offences at the location in the early afternoon
- Higher rates of offences there than on A-roads principally used by local residents.
The stretch of road has seen nine crashes in the past three years, including a driver being seriously injured after hitting a road sign last July, a motorcyclist suffering serious injuries after braking for slow moving traffic last May, and another driver colliding with a caravan in October 2012.
Coun Dadd said local residents had complained about the speed of traffic on the A19 near Thirsk, but the dual carriageway, which is managed by the Highways Agency, was unsuitable for engineering measures to reduce speed.
He said: “It is a pretty straight piece of road, but I would call on all motorists to pay close attention to their speeds, particularly after people being caught driving at 144mph on the same road.”
While police said while the figures reflected the high volumes of traffic on the A19, it remains unclear why the number of offences on the stretch of road between Northallerton and Thirsk is so much higher than on those on the same road at Crathorne and Topcliffe.
The force said it used intelligence to focus on specific sites at particular times to provide the most impact and visibility.
Safety camera manager Dave Brown said his team used intelligence to provide the most impact and visibility and that the site had been monitored for many years.
He said: “As far as the rest of the county compares, this location does present one of the highest rates of offence per hour, clearly corroborating the concerns of the community.
“That said, the amount of time spent at the site is not one of the highest, we do try to apply more time to sites where people have been killed or seriously injured, where the greatest risk is presented in terms of casualties.”
A Highways Agency spokeswoman said police had not raised speeding at the site as an issue.