Essex traffic cameras rake in £2m
TRAFFIC enforcement cameras in Essex are the second highest earners in the entire country raking in more than £2million, it has been revealed. But the figures have angered road safety campaigners who say they don't make roads any safer - with fatalities and serious accidents increasing by 10% this year.
TRAFFIC enforcement cameras in Essex are the second highest earners in the entire country raking in more than £2million, it has been revealed.
But the figures have angered road safety campaigners who say they don't make roads any safer - with fatalities and serious accidents increasing by 10% this year.
A survey of the country's busiest camera sites show they have hit drivers with more than a million penalty points and brought in £18 million nationally.
Essex was the second highest on the list with its top-10 cameras triggered 35,859 times in the past 12 months, second only to Wiltshire which issued 42,417 of the £60 penalty notices which also add three points to drivers' licenses.
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The EADT can reveal that three of Essex's top earning cameras are in Colchester.
Cameras on the A12 bypass, Ipswich Road and a red light camera on Cowdray Avenue at its junction with Mason Road led to £2,151,540 of fines last year.
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Waterhouse Lane in Chelmsford was also among county's busiest, although the Essex Safety Camera Partnership has refused to confirm the breakdown of the 35,000-plus cases for “health and safety reasons”.
The partnership has said its policy is effective at reducing the number of crashes at camera sites.
But the figures have been branded as proof speed cameras are not working because the number of fatalities and serious accidents in the county was nearly 10 % higher than last year.
Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign said: “Essex is well-known for having an aggressive speed camera partnership, fining countless thousands of motorists for minor technical infringements.
“But the results are in. Road deaths aren't falling. Speed camera policy hasn't improved road safety - far from it.
“It's becoming increasingly obvious that speed cameras have made road safety worse.
“We're campaigning to get every one of them scrapped because they are just a dangerous distraction from far more important safety factors.”
Essex has 101 fixed speed camera sites and 26 red light locations across the county.
A spokeswoman for Essex County Council - the main body on the safety camera partnership - said its policy was reducing accidents.
She said: “A report published by the Department for Transport showed the frequency of personal injury collisions on the roads have been reduced by 22% thanks to the safety cameras.
“Not only have the amount of crashes decreased at camera locations but the number of vehicles exceeding the speed limit has also gone down by 31%.”
The top 100 sites in the study, which used information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, issued 312,995 fixed penalties in one year - generating more than £18 million in total.