Bermuda's "antiquated" court system is thwarting attempts to install long-promised speed cameras on the island, according to experts.

With eight people killed in crashes so far this year, calls are hardening for tougher enforcement of the speed limit. A plan for speed cameras - which have proven in other jurisdictions to cut death and serious injury by up to 50 per cent - is still in the pipeline. However, implementation is likely to be at least two years away because the courts and police prosecutors would currently be unable to cope with thousands of speeding fines that would be generated. Already, a backlog of thousands of fines remain unpaid.

Several times in the past five years, the Government has said that money is available for speed cameras, and police went as far as testing the technology here in 2006. Experts close to the current speed camera plan have told the Bermuda Sun that the scheme could go ahead tomorrow if the enforcement infrastructure could cope.

They said that problems within the police and court system are even hampering existing road safety measures.

The penalty points system, unveiled in full last year, was meant to improve driving standards by holding motorists to account for all infringements. However, the system is "in disarray" and "impotent," a source close to the system said, because the points are being calculated and tracked in an antiquated paper chain.

A source close to the ongoing speed camera scheme said: "We have identified the money, and the technology, we could install cameras tomorrow. But to do so would be setting them up to fail. Already the police and the court system are struggling to keep up with parking violations, speeding tickets and all the rest of it. To throw hundreds or thousands of extra fines into that mix would be next to pointless. It would be unenforceable."

Privately, many police officers are equally frustrated that the court system seems unable to cope with fines issued by them.

One senior police source said of the 12-point penalty system: "The law is in place, but unless the technology and support is behind it, that law is impotent. It's no secret that the court system is antiquated. Administrating the points system has proved a nightmare. The points were meant to be calculated automatically, but by all accounts it's being done manually, and the system really can't keep up."

The Government first made a concrete commitment to speed cameras in a Throne Speech more than six years ago.

In 2005, then minister of public safety, Randolph Horton, said that money had been put aside in the budget for cameras. In 2006, police tested three cameras on the island, although Mr. Horton later said that he could make no promises as to how soon a system would be in place.

So far this year, the island has been rocked by eight road deaths. The Government has repeated a message of personal responsibility: urging people to slow down and not to drink and drive. However, several voices, including PLP MP Michael Scott, are now calling for tougher state action to help cut the number of crashes.