In Suffolk more people are being caught and prosecuted for speeding offences as the number of road side cameras that are catching people has dramatically increased. In the last month statistics have revealed that 75% of those people caught on camera have been caught by fixed cameras. They have caught over 6,000 people in the last month alone and this works out at about one driver every six minutes.
The police have said that the more people being caught is important as it will discourage them from speeding again as they will face another fine and another chance of losing their licence. Other bodies have argued that the evidence from the rest of the UK suggests that having speed cameras on the road does not actually make hem any safer.
The figures have come at the same time that the country is trying to reduce the number of traffic units they have on the roads. The survey also said that the number of people driving with twelve points already on their licence is higher than ever before – after twelve points your drivers licence is not longer valid.
The Freedom of Information Act has meant these statistics have gone public and have shown that a great many people are avoiding the points from speeding by attending ‘speed awareness workshops’ where they are given a four hour lesson about the dangers of speeding. Since 2008 the figures have sky-rocketed – from 2008 to 2010 there was a sixteen fold increase in the number of people attending.
A spokesman from the Association of British Drivers, Neil Humphries has commented, “We are disappointed that Suffolk is still prosecuting drivers at such a rate when other counties across the UK are moving away from using speed cameras. Some areas have switched off all of their speed cameras and as a result there has been no change to the number of road accidents.”
A spokeswoman for the Suffolk police however has refuted these claims saying that, “We are using the speed cameras in the areas where residents have identified speeding as a concern. They are an effective way of reducing the number of road casualties that we see in the county.
“The cameras are an effective way to deter people from speeding on our roads and the classes for those that speed are an effective way to prevent further offences. The help to educate, rather than simply punish those who have committed no serious offences. If we simply punish people who speed they may not learn their lesson, but by educating them we are promoting positive rehabilitation.”
Suffolk police have been requested to reveal the sites where the most speeding offences have occurred. They have managed to avoid having to give the information by saying that giving it would encourage people to vandalise the speed cameras in those locations. Although not naming the location of the camera they did say that one camera alone has caught over 3,500 drivers in the first eight months of the year.
The force did reveal however that the four most prolific cameras at catching people are those that are mobile. Suffolk police have also said that some of the cameras in the county that were deactivated to save money are all now back on and fully operational.