Government to ‘profit’ from cameras?

09.50 | 26 July 2010 | | 5 comments

Safety cameras are set to make the government a profit for the first time this year, according to a report in The Telegraph today (26/7/10).

The Telegraph says the decision to reduce the Road Safety Grant from £95m to £57m this year means that the government could raise as much as £40m more from speeding fines than it hands back to local authorities to reduce death and injury on the country’s roads.

Until 2007 road safety partnerships kept all the cash they raised from speeding fines. This system was scrapped by the Labour government and instead all fine income was paid to the Treasury which returned the cash as a Road Safety Grant.

The Telegraph says this disclosure that the Treasury is now – for the first time – making a profit from safety camera fines will embarrass the coalition which had promised to end what it described as the last government’s ‘war on the motorist’.

Click here to read the full Telegraph news report.



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    I think its about time that Road Safety was taken out of the political arena – saving lives should not be influenced by any single political party or person of a certain political persuasion. An independent Road Safety ‘Alliance’ would ensure that, without any steer from any organisation/party/public body, that Road Safety is coordinated and delivered in the best interests of the general public and to a measurable and auditable, all encompassing strategy to work to. All Road Safety professionals want to do is get on with delivering interventions without the fear of whether we will be in a position to continue with the excellent work that has contributed to casualty reduction across the regions.
    Since when has there been a ‘war on the motorist’ – surely if drivers break the law, as with any other offence, then they have to be punished. There is no such a thing in traffic law as a ‘low level offence’ It has been proven that poor attitude and behaviour, the threat of not being caught and a lack of education and encouragement messages increase a drivers chances of being involved in a life changing collision.
    The Coalition’s policy on camera enforcement may only be the tip of the iceberg I feel!!!

    Paul, Hartlepool
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    Something I have been saying since 2007. When the LAs have more of a responsibility to maintain and operate fixed cameras and less income [I do not and cannot believe that all the monies went to government and only costs were returned – no LA would even consider that] then we will see more LAs turning their backs on them [some have already done so].

    So,then we will see just how much interest there will be for them being placed to reduce accidents and save lives. Sorry but I am cynical on this matter.

    bob craven Lancs
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    Adrian – just to clarify, the ‘kept all the cash’ quote comes from The Telegraph article.

    Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety GB newsfeed
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    It’s incorrect to say prior to 2007 that road safety partnerships “kept all the cash” from speeding fines. Under hypothecation partnerships were able to claim their operating costs back from the Treasury. But fines went direct to the Treansury

    Adrian Creek, Surrey
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    The article fails to see how a cut in funding for safety cameras results in less enforcement of existing camera sites. It assumes everything would carry on as before. A cut in funding means that road safety partnerships have less to spend on enforcement (whether it be fixed or mobile), fewer operatives to man the cameras, and fewer readers to issue offences. Reduce the grant funding and inevitably offences will also reduce meaning less money taken in as fine revenue for the Treasury.

    Danny, Gateshead
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