Pledge to catch speed camera arsonists

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Lancashire's road safety boss has told vandals who fire-bombed a speed camera on a Preston road that they will not win.

Steve Whitehouse, project manager at the Lancashire Partnership for Road Safety, said that the Gatso on Woodplumpton Road had a petrol-soaked burning tyre thrown over it.

He said it could "easily cost up to 40,000" for a replacement.

Mr Whitehouse said: "This camera is there to save lives and it will be repaired or replaced depending on the extent of the damage.

"There are obviously going to be costs and that is money which will not be able to be spent on doing road safety initiatives in schools or in the community, all because of this mindless vandalism.

"I am sure all the people who live in the community share our concern that this may lead to increased speeding in the area and ultimately there may a tragedy on this stretch of road as a result of this selfish and mindless action."

He said attacks on cameras in the county were "very rare" and that this was only the second attack on one since he took over his post last summer.

He insisted that "the vast majority of motorists" supported the use of cameras.

Statistics from the partnership last year showed that the fatality rate at camera sites around the county improved by 71%, with collision rates improving by 36%

But "Captain Gatso," the campaigns director for the Motorists Against Detection group, said that cash to replace the camera would not come out of taxpayers' pockets.

He said: "The ill-gotten gains these cameras make pay the cost of replacing it, but the chances are that the exasperated motorist who did this will have paid towards the cost of it anyway."

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