The government has come under fire after revelations that revenue from speeding tickets has quadrupled since Labour came to power.
Home Office figures show that 1.8 million tickets are being issued each year, or 4,850 every day, compared to 713,000 in 1997.
As a result, the amount of money raised in fines has gone from £28.5 million in 1997 to £106.4 million in 2006.
The rise in revenue coincides with a big expansion in the speed camera network.
The figures have been attacked by the Conservative spokesman for police reform, David Ruffley, who obtained them. He accused ministers of treating motorists as ‘cash cows’.
“The number of tickets issued for speeding has increased 150% under Labour,” Mr Ruffley said.
“Coupled with an increase in the basic speeding fine , speeding tickets are now raising over £100 million a year for the government.
“Ministers need to tell us what they are doing with this £100 million a year taken from motorists. How much is actually put back into practical road safety that does not involve speed cameras?
“Ministers’ failure to answer that question confirms the view that for this government the British motorist is ‘a nice little earner’,” he added.
Mr Ruffley asked whether Labour was using speeding tickets to raise revenue rather than make roads safer.
“Using speed cameras as a cash cow undermines public confidence.
The government needs to rethink ways of improving road safety, including cracking down on uninsured drivers.”
- 1997: 713,000 speeding tickets issued raising £28.5m in revenue.
- 2006: 1.8 million speeding tickets issued raising £106.4m in revenue.
- 2000: 1,935 roadside speed cameras and 173 mobile speed traps.
- 2008: 5,562 roadside speed cameras and 2,373 mobile speed traps.
Source: Home Office