Latest Government figures have shown that the number of road deaths have remained fairly static during the past 10 years, dipping slightly from 3,814 in 1993 to 3,508 in 2003.
However, the number of fines issued to motorists through speed cameras has surged dramatically.
In 1993 the number of offences detected by speed cameras stood at zero. During the 10-year period to 2003 those caught speeding on cameras has rocketed to two million a year. In 2003, 79% of British speeding convictions were from speed cameras.
Officials claim the proliferation of speed cameras is to make roads safer, yet critics point out that there is no correlation between their increased use and improved road safety.
Alisdair Smith, director of Speed Trap Detectors, which provides technology and advice on safer driving said: ‘Safety cameras can only ever be effective at getting drivers to slow down at the camera locations but they are simply not having any impact on the number of road deaths.
The actual number of road deaths increased in 2003 by 1.6% in England and Wales and 8.9% in Scotland.
‘The Government needs to look at other measures here rather than relying on cameras.’ However, Andrew Howard, head of road safety at the AA Motoring Trust, says that in its latest survey of speed cameras, 76% of motorists said they thought speed cameras were acceptable.
Howard said: ‘We have to reflect our survey which says 76% of motorists believe speed cameras are acceptable. However, we would question whether the right message is being given to the public. They have to be convinced that cameras are about safety, not money.
‘We have lots of complaints about speed cameras but people never complain about the ones outside their own homes. If they live in Basingstoke they will always complain about the ones in North Wales or elsewhere in the UK.’