LIVES are being saved in a camera-led crackdown on speed on roads across part of the North-East.

It is understood that there were no speed-related deaths on Teesside's roads between April and September.

Cleveland is one of only a handful of police force areas across the UK piloting a scheme where fines from fixed penalty tickets are spent on buying new speed cameras and maintaining existing ones.

Now the scheme is to go nationwide.

Road safety officer Neil Ellison said: "Casualty figures look very promising. We have speed reductions on all target roads, with significant reductions on some.

"National research shows for every one mile per hour reduction in average speed there is a five per cent decrease in accidents. It's very encouraging.''

Meanwhile, Teesside drivers have made a sober start to the festive season.

Out of 127 motorists tested by police in a 24-hour Europe- wide drink-drive crackdown at the weekend, only two gave positive readings.

Inspector Mick Bennett, of Cleveland Police, said: "This is very encouraging. Certainly over the last four years Cleveland has been well under the national average of four to five per cent positive.

"We intend to keep it that way.'