Richard Brunstrom, chief constable of North Wales, and head of the Association of Police Officers, said: 'Speed cameras make a valuable contribution to road safety and this scheme means motorists can expect to see numbers of speed cameras on Britain's roads at least tripling.'
Around one million motorists are caught speeding each year and the new campaign is expected to catch about three times that figure. The offending drivers receive a £60 fine and three penalty points on their licence. The money is given directly to the Treasury. But new moves mean that forces could be allowed to keep the money - providing it is spent on road safety schemes. Most of the 43 police forces are believed to be submitting 'business plans' to the Department of Transport detailing how they will spend the revenue from speeding fines.
A mobile speed camera costs £10,000 while a fixed camera sets back local authorities £30,000. The cost of keeping the cameras stocked with film and processing the evidence has also put forces off administering fixed penalty notices. Eight local authorities are testing the scheme. They are Strathclyde, South Wales, Northamptonshire, Nottingham-shire, Essex, Lincolnshire, Cleveland and Thames Valley. A spokesman for the Department of Transport said the scheme could be rolled out on a national level from July. He said: 'The scheme will not be imposed on police forces. It is available to those which can see the benefits of increasing safety cameras.' He stressed that the initiative was aimed at accident reduction and not generating revenue.