SPEEDING motorists could soon be shown the red light when a brand new initiative is introduced in the town.

The Wiltshire and Swindon Road Safety Partnership along with the Swindon Council are piloting a scheme which will see traffic lights used to stop drivers speeding.

Two roads in Swindon have been chosen for a pilot study, the first in the entire country, where traffic lights will turn to red if they detect a speeding motorist approaching in a bid to stop them in their tracks.

The hi-tech system will be introduced to Thamesdown Drive at the Callington Road junction and Queens Drive at the Whitbourne Avenue junction in the autumn.

Both these roads have a speed limit of 40mph but are subject to significant numbers of speeding vehicles and have also been the scenes of several accidents in the last five years.

Statistics show that 67 per cent of vehicles exceed the speed limit in Thamesdown Drive and 38 per cent of vehicles go too fast on Queens Drive.

Councillor Peter Greenhalgh, cabinet member for sustainability, strategic planning, property and transport, said: “This is very much a first for Swindon and we will use the data collected at the trial sites and it could well be rolled out across Swindon.

“It has been used in Europe but I do not know anywhere in the UK where they use this scheme.

“This is part of the council’s traffic management and we have identified a couple of key locations on which to trial it.

“Hopefully it will encourage drivers to be aware of their speeds and also to be aware of what is going on ahead of them.

“It will irritate drivers but if you maintain a steady speed at or around the speed limit you will get to where you want to be quicker because you won’t be held up at traffic lights.”

A specialist piece of equipment connected to the traffic signal system, called a Data Logger, will record the speed of all vehicles that pass.

Motorists driving at speed over a specific threshold, which Swindon Council will not reveal, are identified as speeding, triggering the traffic signals at the junction to turn to from green to red.

To ensure that speeding vehicles have enough time to safely stop when the signals change to red, the Data Logger is located well in advance of the junction.

The cameras will recognise emergency service vehicle number plates and ensure that a red signal is not triggered for emergency service vehicles.

The trial will highlight vehicles travelling in excess of the limit in a northbound direction at both locations, vehicles on Callington Road and Whitbourne Avenue will not be subject to the trial.

Speed data for Thamesdown Drive and Queens Drive suggests that the signals are likely to operate to their usual phasing in the morning and evening peak when vehicles are likely to be travelling well within the speed limit to avoid congestion.

The system is therefore likely to be effective at off-peak times when traffic volumes are lower and vehicle speeds are higher.

The council has said that the two trial areas are speeding blackspots and in 2009 a motorcyclist died after a smash on Thamesdown Drive.

The accident happened just past the Tawny Owl pub when two bikers, traveling north along Thamesdown Drive, collided.

In 2008 there was a fatal accident in Queens Drive when a red Honda Accord crashed at the junction of Queens Drive and Whitbourne Avenue.