UK drivers paid over £87 million in speed camera fines in the 2008-2009 financial year despite the decline in road casualties slowing down rapidly, according to new research.
A new report headed by the TaxPayers’ Alliance into speed cameras found a total of £87,368,227 was collected by UK speed cameras in 2008-2009 but the rate of decline in road casualties has been slower since speed cameras were introduced in the early 1990s.
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The data, collected by the TaxPayers’ Alliance and the Drivers’ Allaince, even suggests there are 1.5 million more casualties on UK roads than there would have been if the pre-speed camera rate of decline in casualties has continued.
Citing Swindon as an example after it scrapped speed cameras and saw no increase in casualty rates, Matthew Elliot, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, described speed cameras as ‘more about raising money than keeping the roads safe’.
He added: “The whole country should follow the example of Swindon, which has scrapped cameras altogether. People are sick of being fined under the guise of road safety."
Londoners are the worst offenders with over £6.25m in fines over 12 months. Avon and Somerset (£3.4m) and Mid and South Wales (£2.9m) were second and third respectively while drivers in Lothian and Borders were caught the least by speed cameras with total fines costing £892,620.
Peter Roberts, Chief Executive of the Drivers' Alliance, said: “t is time to rethink road safety policy so that it has broadened focus, not solely based on speed."
Speed cameras are a highly controversial subject and recently transport minister Phillip Hammond confirmed speed cameras would no longer be funded by central government. Instead, local councils must fund speed cameras in their own area.
However, Roberts added: “No more speed cameras should be funded by local authorities and existing speed cameras should be removed."
The top ten highest earning speed cameras 2008-2009 are as follows:
Avon and Somerset £3,491,340
Mid and South Wales £2,915,340
Greater Manchester £2,876,280
Thames Valley £2,861,880
West Mercia £2,795,340