Jim's fake speed camera putting brakes on drivers

RICHARD BATSON An unofficial “safety camera” made from wood by a local fisherman in a bid to slow down traffic outside his home is doing just that.

RICHARD BATSON

They are bright yellow boxes that get every motorist checking their dials and dabbing the brake pedal.

And the one just outside a north Norfolk seaside resort is doing just that to motorists on a scenic coast road.

But it is a fake - an unofficial "safety camera" made from wood by a local fisherman in a bid to slow down traffic outside his home.

And, while Norfolk's speed camera bosses says they cannot condone fake boxes, they say it shows that people think they are effective.

Jim Lingwood lives in a dip just west of Sheringham on a rolling road enjoyed by thousands of motorists for a pleasant drive along the coast.

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But he is concerned about the danger they cause on his front doorstep, and

is calling for a reduction in the

60mph limit.

Highways officials have refused to extend the town speed limit, so Mr Lingwood has put up a yellow painted box - which is already putting the brakes on drivers.

It is the second "camera" he has installed on the Weybourne Road. The last one was burned by having a rubber tyre put around it and set alight, then pulled from the ground.

But with his concerns still unanswered, Mr Lingwood has put up another, and said "it is working, although locals know it is false."

The stretch of road contained a blind dip and had "no overtaking" signs, but people still did it - particularly impatient ones coming out of town wanting to get past motorists distracted, and driving slowly, past the steam railway, golf course and sea views, he explained.

"There have been a couple of accidents. Somebody will be killed and it could be someone I know or my family - I just want to slow people down sensibly. Highways won't lower the limit, so I put up another of my 'brightly-coloured bird boxes' in my garden," said Mr Lingwood.

His creation on a metal post is made from wood, with a jam jar "lens",

but also with a hole and perch for any nesting visitors.

He had been visited by police traffic officers, in response to a complaint from a motorist that it made him brake sharply. But Mr Lingwood questioned what speed he was going, and said the officers took no action over the camera.

A spokesman for the county's speed camera network, Bryan Edwards of the casualty reduction partnership, last night said: "We don't welcome people doing this all over the place because it diminishes the real ones.

"And we don't condone anything that distracts drivers - our cameras are all clearly signposted. But this man has done nothing wrong if it is on his private land, and it proves that people believe safety cameras do work."

There are 20 camera boxes across Norfolk, with just six cameras rotated around them.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said the Sheringham case was on a rural road with only one house, which automatically had a 60mph limit. Accident statistics did not

show a major problem there, but she recommended Mr Lingwood contacted parish or county councillors to see if they would lend weight to his views.