Speed camera debate gets more confusing

The situation regarding traffic speed cameras appears to be getting more confusing by the day. Van drivers who reckoned their commercial vehicle insurance quote would no longer be put in jeopardy by road safety cameras may well have to think again.

Who benefits?

Over the last 12 months many Local Authorities have decided that Government cuts have put the running and maintenance of fixed speed cameras in particular, beyond their budgets. The main bone of contention all along has been that running costs have come from the local council but the revenue stream i.e. speeding fines, ended up in central Government coffers.

The revolution started in Wiltshire and quickly spread, and in fact is still spreading. Only this month two more areas have confirmed they will be stopping the funding for fixed speed cameras. Both are in the West Country, namely South Gloucestershire and Somerset.

Change of direction

There is, however, an intriguing turn of events further down in the West Country. Devon and Cornwall authorities have also decided to turn their static speed cameras off, but are investing more money into mobile speed cameras. It takes some stretch of the imagination to believe that mobile speed cameras are cheaper to run than fixed cameras. That is of course unless mobile cameras attract better revenue.

Honesty called for

Van drivers across the country have always insisted that the function of speed cameras was at least in part to raise revenue, a statement that as always been denied by the powers that be. At long last we may have evidence to the contrary. Of course we all know that speed cameras play a part in contributing to road safety, it is the natural reaction of most drivers to slow down when they see one. That is not in dispute. All drivers know how costly it is to get on the road these days, the cost of road tax, driving lessons and insurance for vans or other vehicles makes it disastrous to lose ones licence for something so stupid as speeding points. Most drivers would just prefer a little honesty on the main focus behind the lens.




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