Cameras catching 90 speeders a day

MORE than 90 drivers a day are being caught breaking the speed limit by roadside cameras in Suffolk – a figure which could see more than £2 million raised annually in fines.

MORE than 90 drivers a day are being caught breaking the speed limit by roadside cameras in Suffolk – a figure which could see more than £2 million raised annually in fines.

A total of 25,900 motorists were prosecuted for speeding between April 1 and the end of December last year, according to new figures released by the Suffolk Safety Camera Partnership.

As an average fixed penalty ticket is £60, around £2million could be raised by the end of the year if drivers continue to flout speeding laws at the current rate.

But Peter Monk, Suffolk County Council portfolio holder for public protection, denied that the cameras are little more than a source of revenue for the authority.

"The money that is raised by the cameras is used to support the system and, if necessary, to put more cameras in," he said.

"It is not an income generator for the county council. If there is any cash left over then it is returned to the treasury - the big problem is that the money goes straight into the treasury coffers and where it goes from there, nobody knows.

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"I'm going to try my best to liberate some of that money - I want to see the cash being ploughed back into extra safety improvements on the roads."

Cllr Monk said he was both surprised and disappointed at the figures, and added: "They show that there are people just not adhering to the speed limits.

"There is an easy way not to pay the fine and that's just a little bit of co-ordination between the right foot and eye contact with the speedometer.

"The greater issue here is whether or not motorists are being as observant as they should be. All these sites are pretty well signed and drivers should know they are there.

"But, if people are not noticing the warning signs, are they noticing the rest of the road landscape? I want to see these numbers reduced and people taking more care. You can't get away from it - 95% of all accidents are caused by driver error and the majority involve excessive speed.

"If everybody drove as we'd like to think we do, within the conditions and taking into account the suitability of the road, no-one would get booked for speeding and we wouldn't have any accidents.

"I sincerely hope these figures serve as a reminder to people."

The statistics also showed that accidents at camera sites have dropped by 40%, while the number of motorists caught by fixed cameras – including those on the notorious Haughley Bends – has fallen by a third.

A spokeswoman for the Suffolk Safety Camera Partnership said: "The locations of our mobile enforcement vehicles are released to the media on a weekly basis and publicised both on local radio traffic bulletins and in the local press.

"In addition to this, warning signs are always in place to alert drivers that speed enforcement is taking place with highly visible enforcement vehicles.

"It is not our intention to catch motorists out – our only objective is accident reduction. Only drivers that break the law and endanger themselves and other road users need to pay the penalties.

"Preventing just one accident saves the local community approximately £75,000, actually saving taxpayers' money."

Simon Woodings, a spokesman for road group the AA, added: "From the motorist's mindset, they can understand if cameras are deployed in areas which are known trouble spots, or on roads that have a poor safety record where people are getting killed each year.

"Where the credibility battle is in danger of being lost is when they repeatedly see examples reported in the national media that speed cameras are more or less a device for raising extra revenue for cash-strapped local authorities.

"Government figures in 2003 showed where speed cameras had been deployed, there was a 35% reduction in serious accidents on these roads, saving £180million to society.

"But again the important public relations issue here is that they are not deployed just because it's the easiest thing to do.

"Surely the battle is to deter speed rather than have motorists break the law in the first place."

The Safety Camera Partnership's website, at, details the locations of mobile cameras on a weekly basis. Fixed sites are also listed.

n Suffolk SafeCam's mobile safety camera locations for this week are as follows; A14, A1101, A11, A143, A134, A1065, A1088, A140; Nacton Road and Norwich Road, Ipswich, and A1214 London Road; A12 South – Copdock to Stratford St Mary, B1078 Barking, Elm Tree Road, Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds.

A map of all fixed and mobile locations can be found at

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