Suffolk: Speeding offences down nearly 10,000 in two years - but no plans for extra speed cameras

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, has no plans for extra speed cameras despite of

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, has no plans for extra speed cameras despite offences dropping nearly 10,000 in two years. - Credit: Archant

POLICE chiefs last night ruled out significantly increasing the number of speed cameras in Suffolk despite a 10,000 drop in the number of motorists caught.

Tim Passmore, police and crime commissioner for Suffolk, said he had no plans to embark on a speed camera “crusade” to boost revenue.

A Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner report, set to be discussed by bosses on Tuesday, shows 38,098 speeding offences were recorded on the county’s roads in 2012/13 - compared to 47,009 in 2010/11.

Among the reasons suggested behind the fall are the decommissioning of four fixed camera sites in the county, new branding on camera vans making them more visible, and hard-pressed motorists making fewer journeys to save money on fuel.

But Mr Passmore said last night: “I can give assurances to everyone that we are not going to go on a crusade to get more speed cameras or mobile camera vans.

“The system is not designed to catch people out and extort money out of them – it’s about the importance and awareness of speeding.”

He added: “The camera at Coddenham has proved worthwhile because that is a very dangerous crossing.

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“There are still a lot of people getting caught but we don’t want to alienate people. The prospect of raising fines is not even on the agenda.

“We need to keep the public on board and it’s really important we get the balance right while people are struggling and are under financial pressure.”

Mr Passmore raised the prospect of installing more cameras outside village schools after issuing a concern over implementing cameras in areas which record small numbers of accidents.

In 2010/11 there were 23 fatalities and 260 serious accidents on Suffolk’s roads, compared to 19 fatalities and 293 serious accidents in 2012/13, according to police figures.

Meanwhile, the report also revealed a speeding penalty threshold change of 10% plus 3mph – from 10% plus 2mph – came into effect on April 5, 2010 after being sanctioned by Suffolk chief officers.

Last night, Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, warned: “If cameras are catching less people that should be greeted as a positive thing – and not an excuse to install new traps or equipment.

“Motorists already feel unfairly targeted by speeding cameras and many feel they are more about bringing in money than keeping roads safe.

“Traffic measures should be about road safety, not revenue raising.”

There are currently two fixed speed cameras in the county – on the A12 at Benhall and the A140 at Coddenham – after four were decommissioned in September 2011.

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