By John Simpson 10 July 2012
There were more speed cameras on Britain’s roads at the start of this year than 18 months prior.
Data published by the RAC Foundation today shows that the number of fixed speed camera sites has increased from 2,188 in June 2010 to 2,331 in January 2012.
This comes in the face of the Government’s announcement in 2010 that no new funding would be made available for fixed speed cameras.
Ten of the 32 partnerships which operate fixed camera sites, and were willing to comply with the RAC Foundation’s Freedom of Information request, said they had made no change to how they have used speed cameras in the last two years while several admitted to making minor changes in that time.
The most significant changes have been seen in Avon & Somerset, Northamptonshire and Wiltshire & Swindon where all operational cameras have been switched off.
If all speed cameras in England were disabled, the RAC Foundation predicts that 80 more people would be killed on the roads each year with 700 others seriously injured.
“Many people believe there has been a mass switch-off of cameras over the past couple of years, but the data shows that, overall, this is simply not true,” he commented,
“Although there are many more housings than cameras, it seems that the cameras are regularly rotated between them ensuring there is some level of positive enforcement at most sites.
“It is also important to note that many police constabularies rely heavily on mobile cameras to catch law breakers and in many cases have now have an increased emphasis on this type of operation.”
The RAC Foundation expressed concern that some authorities would struggle to replace outdated photographic-film cameras with newer digital technology, the cost of which is in the region of £20,000.
“There is a lack of money for all aspects of road safety and we urge councillors to allocate adequate budgets to protect people on the roads by whatever means is appropriate,” added Professor Glaister.
“Recent figures showing that deaths on the road rose in 2011, for the first time since 2003, only reinforce the need to retain the focus on road safety.”
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