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Fuel Card Blog Updates: Speed cameras – safety device or local authority cash cow?

When we heard last week that the UK’s top ten most ‘industrious’ speed cameras take a whopping £3million a year from motorists we almost choked on our coffee. £3million every year?! Why are we undergoing a painful programme of budget cuts when it sounds like these speed cameras could single-handedly pay off the Government deficit all by themselves?

The most profitable speed camera was on the A1 (M) southbound, between junctions four and three in Hertfordshire, which captured an average of 789 drivers a month. In second place was a camera on the A3, Anglesea Road, in Portsmouth, which caught an average of 537 motorists a month, equating to £387,000 generated in fines a year.

Although £3million in profit will no doubt make local councils feel good, we have to ask ourselves whether this method of speed control is really effective if 789 drivers are being caught exceeding the speed limit every month in one area alone?

A spokesman for Drivers’ Alliance told the Sun, which compiled the figures from Government information: “Cameras don’t improve safety. They’re often placed to generate maximum revenue.”

The whole point of speed cameras is that they are a deterrent, forcing people to slow down; however the high figures seem to suggest this isn’t working. Although the additional income may be a welcome bonus when budgets are stretched, rather than counting up their profits, perhaps councils should be thinking about implementing alternative, more effective forms of speed control such as speed bumps to tackle the issue.
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