Fleet News

City drivers hit by 200% increase in speeding fines

THE impact of the controversial proliferation of speed cameras in London has been exposed, with a 200% jump in the number of prosecutions and fixed penalties for speeding offences.

Between 1998 and 2000, the number of prosecutions for speeding offences detected by cameras within metropolitan London rose to 5,522 a year from 2,983, while the number of fixed penalty notices increased to 44,092 per year, from 14,155.

Fines imposed jumped from £840,000 to £2.6 million.

The figures were supplied in a written parliamentary answer by John Denham, minister of state at the Home Office.

But police calls to combat speeding without resorting to prosecution by fitting new cars with speed limiters have angered safety experts.

Speaking in Police Review magazine, Richard Brunstrom, chief constable of North Wales Police and national traffic spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said the Government should ensure all new cars are fitted with speed limiters, or cruise control. He is putting the recommendation in front of the parliamentary Transport Select Committee.

Cathy Keeler, policy adviser for road safety campaigner Brake, backed his stance, saying: 'We need to change drivers' attitudes to speeding. Cruise control cuts out many of the reasons given by motorists for speeding.'

But risk management companies have reacted angrily to Brunstrom's comments, with Drive & Survive training director Mark Evans arguing: 'Although we are not condoning the flouting of speed limits in any way, we are firmly against the principle of any mechanical device removing the driver's ability to make informed decisions about their driving.'

Likewise, Chris Howell, Risk Answers operations director, said that fitting speed limiters to cars would increase, not decrease the risk of road accidents because it would encourage motorists to drive at 70 mph as a matter of habit.

He said: 'This causes drivers to pay less attention to the task of driving thereby reducing concentration, observation and anticipation - the three key components of safe driving.'

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