A chief constable desperate to have speed cameras switched back on today offered to buy them for £1.
Nick Gargan, chief constable of Avon and Somerset Police, wrote to councils earlier this year asking them to reactivate the cameras.
The Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson, has now announced 26 speed cameras would be turned on in the city.
But Mr Gargan wants to go one step further and get the road safety operation rolled out across his entire force area.
The top cop has now offered to buy them for #1 and run them himself in a bid to crack down on speeding motorists.
He said: “The balance of evidence says speed cameras improve safety so if they’re there and do good then why wouldn’t we want to switch them back on?
“There was an encouraging reduction in the number of people dying on roads but then the reduction stopped.
“Given there is a benefit and the cameras are already there, all we have to do is switch them on.
“My proposition is ‘let’s get them switched on’. If the authorities don’t want to then sell them to me for £1 and I’ll run them.”
Fixed speed cameras and cameras monitoring junctions were switched off in 2011 after the government stopped funding the Safety Camera Partnership.
Mr Gargan described the unactivated cameras as a “degrading deterrent”, saying the longer they remain out of use the less effective they will become.
He referred to a report on the impact of speed cameras by the RAC Foundation as his motivation behind the decision.
The report, published in June, showed on average the number of fatal and serious collisions in the vicinity of fixed speed cameras fell by 27 per cent after their installation.
More than 550 fixed camera sites in nine areas of England were analysed by the RAC but 21 sites bucked the with the number of injuries going up.
George Ferguson, the red trouser-wearing mayor known as ‘Bristol’s Boris’, announced this week cameras across the city would be switched on.
Mr Ferguson and Avon and Somerset’s Police Commissioner Sue Mountstevens also revealed 15 community speed watch schemes, where volunteers are trained to monitor speeds with detection equipment.
They told a road safety summit that work to encourage more volunteer schemes is under way as 20mph areas are rolled out in the city.
Mr Ferguson said: “While the number of those killed or seriously injured on our roads has reduced recently there are still too many incidents, especially those involving pedestrians and cyclists.
“I have asked officers to start work on preparing speed cameras to be switched back on and boost the number of community speed watch programmes in the city.”