Fleet News

Tories in call for review as camera popularity wanes

THE Conservatives are calling for a complete review of speed camera operations after an internal Government survey showed public confidence in the technology is waning.

Shadow transport secretary Alan Duncan made the call after a survey showed that fewer people think cameras are an effective safety device and more think they are a way to make money.

Previous polls have reflected a general consensus that speed cameras do save lives, even if they are inconvenient.

But the Tories say that the camera boom under Labour, which has seen the number of sites double to 6,000 over five years, has evaporated this support.

In 2000, when members of the pubic were presented with the statement ‘Cameras are an easy way to make money out of motorists’, more than 40% agreed. But by 2004 that had risen to more than 60%.

The statement ‘Fewer accidents are likely to happen on roads where cameras are installed’ had an agreement rate of almost 80% in 2001, but that fell to just over 60% in 2004.

The cameras raised more than £100 million in fines last year, but a Parliamentary committee said in 2004 that experiences abroad showed public support for camera schemes was ‘crucial’ to their success.

Duncan said: ‘Given the huge proliferation of speed cameras and the fact that the Government is creaming off tens of millions of pounds of their profits, it is of little surprise that speed cameras have now become so unpopular.  The whole regime of punishing drivers for speeding needs complete review.

‘By using speed cameras as the only way of improving road safety, the Government has alienated the public while doing nothing to tackle the far more serious danger of drunk drivers and drivers on illegal drugs.’

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