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Lancashire police and council scheme to install speed cameras is “akin to fraud”

Posted on - 18th November, 2011 - 9:55am | Author - | Posted in - News, Politics

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Lancashire police and council chiefs have been accused of cashing in on new road safety measures.

The claims come after plans to implement 78 new speed cameras across the county have begun in Lancaster.

There is a significant increase in mobile speed cameras, meaning that motorists will be targeted on longer stretches of roads.

Keith Peat, from the Association of British Drivers, said: “The new speed cameras aren’t a question of a crackdown on speed. This is the police and local authorities seeing to be proactive but in reality the whole scheme is very lucrative for them.

“Most of the money raised from speeding fines don’t stop accidents and serve as an excuse not to look into why clashes occur.

“They create a massive amount of profit for the authorities.”

Mr Peat went onto say that speed isn’t the problem when trying to reduce the number of road accidents.

“Accidents are not to do with speeding. They come about when people drive too fast for the surrounding conditions,” he said.

“There needs to be a distinction between speeding and driving too fast. People don’t know it.

“Accidents occur at any speed and very often when the driver is below the speed limit. Cameras simply take a picture – they detect speeding but not driving too fast.

“I believe they (speed cameras) are a blatant cheating attempt by authorities which is almost akin to fraud.”

Paul Binks, Road and Travel Safety Manager at Lancashire County Council, was defiant when responding to the allegations.

“The speeding fine is split up to different bodies. Lancashire County Council takes a percentage that solely funds speed awareness courses while a slice goes to the company who provide the technical equipment,” he said.

“The remainder goes to the police, who then reinvest it into road safety initiatives and camera enforcement.

“We put our own money into camera enforcement. If you look at the whole package, the authorities are putting more in than they’re getting out of it.”

The local authorities say they place more importance on educating drivers rather than punishing them – running speed awareness courses for certain speeders.

“If an offence in a 30mph limit is less than 42mph then the driver has an option to take a speed awareness course,” he said.

“The courses we run are really positive. They are there to educate people and stats prove that it is working.

“People like me who passed their test over 20 years ago will have accumulated some bad habits in that time. The courses educate those bad habits out of drivers and we’re seeing a good return. Although there are still speeders, the actual mph of speeding offences is decreasing.

“However, we are not fixated by speeding. Although it obviously has an impact, we’re focused on all the different elements in what causes accidents.”

Photo by t0msk on Flickr

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