Speed cameras rake in £87m a year but don't improve safety

Despite generating £87m in a year in fines, it has been claimed that speed cameras are not having a positive effect of safety.

Research by the Taxpayers' Alliance and the Drivers' Alliance has shown that the rate of reduction of traffic accidents has slowed since the introduction of speed cameras in 1990.

A Freedom of Information request showed that a total of £87,368,227 was raised in 2008-2009 from speeding fines. This included punishments handed out through speed cameras, court fines and fines issued for neglecting traffic regulations.

However, despite the vast sum of money generated, campaigners are claiming that the reduction in the rate of accidents has actually slowed since speed cameras were introduced 20 years ago. Both organisations suggest that if the rate of reduction had continued at the same pace as the years prior to 1990, there would have been 1,5m fewer casualties on our roads.

"Speed cameras have been a false hope in improving safety on British roads," said Peter Roberts, the chief executive of The Drivers' Alliance. "Close statistical analysis of road casualties shows that, since speed cameras have been the main driver of road safety policy, the road casualty rate has not gone down at the trajectory expected."

The campaigners say more councils should follow the lead of Swindon, which has pledged not to provide any more funding for the devices.

London raked in the largest amount of cash from speeding motorists, generating around £6.3m in 2008-2009, with Avon and Somerset next on the list with £3.5m. It seems Scotland is the best area to live to avoid being fined, with the two areas lowest on the list being Glasgow and Strathkelvin with under £80,000 in fines issued, and Tayside Central and Fife with under £93,000.
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