New Research: Speeding Fines

July 09, 2010 9:56 AM

£87.3m raised in speeding fines in one year

Contains breakdowns for local areas


A new report from the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) and the Drivers' Alliance (DA) collates for the first time the full figure for fines raised through speed cameras in 2008-09. The report features full data for local Safety Camera Partnerships and Magistrates' Courts for all areas of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. With the boom in speed cameras and speeding fines in recent years the issue has become highly controversial, particularly among motorists.

As well as exploring the local and national totals raised in such fines, the report also investigates road casualty rates since the introduction of speed cameras, and compares them to the reduction in casualty rates prior to their introduction. Controversially, the report's statistical analysis of these trends suggests that the anti-speeding policy based on speed cameras that has been pursued since 1991 has failed to sustain the speed of reduction in casualty rates seen between 1978 and 1990.

This failure has led to over 1.5 million more casualties on British roads between 1991 and 2007 than would have occurred if the previous rate of reduction had been sustained.

The report concludes that British policy should follow the good example of Swindon, which scrapped its speed cameras in 2008 with
apparently no increase in road casualties as a result. 

Click here to read the full report

Key Findings

  • A total of £87,368,227 was collected in speeding and red light offences caught on speed cameras in the financial period 2008-09 in the UK. This also includes fines from magistrates’ courts for speeding offences and neglect of traffic
  • directions in 2008.
  • The total includes £65,748,850 from fixed penalties detected by cameras operated by safety camera partnerships in England and Wales.
  • It also includes £19,214,594 in fines from magistrates’ courts for speeding offences and neglect of traffic directions in calendar year 2008 in England and Wales.
  • It also includes £1,641,630 collected for speeding offences by the Scottish Courts in 2008-09.
  • It also includes £763,153 from fixed penalties detected by speed cameras in Northern Ireland.
  • The road casualty rate has declined at a slower rate since speed cameras were introduced in the early 1990s, compared to the rate prior to their introduction. It can be estimated that 1,555,244 more road casualties occurred between 1991-2007 than would have if the 1978-1990 trend had continued. This is illustrated in the following graph:

Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"Motorists have long suspected that speed cameras are more about raising money than keeping the roads safe. These findings show that the state has been squeezing a fortune out of people using these cameras, but if anything the rateof reduction in casualty numbers has slowed. The whole country should follow the example of Swindon, which has scrapped cameras altogether. People are sick of being fined under the guise of road safety."

Peter Roberts, Chief Executive of the Drivers' Alliance, said:

"Speed cameras have been a false hope in improving safety on British roads. Close statistical analysis of road casualties shows that, since speed cameras have been the main driver of road safety policy, the road casualty rate has not gone down at the trajectory expected. It is time to rethink road safety policy so that it has broadened focus, not solely based on speed. No more speed cameras
should be funded by local authorities and existing speed cameras should be removed." 

Click here to read the full report

 

For further comments or to arrange broadcast interviews, please contact:

Mark Wallace, Campaign Director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, on 07736 009
548 or at mark.wallace@taxpayersalliance.com

To discuss the research and methodology, please contact:

Jennifer Dunn, Transport and Environment Policy Analyst for the

TaxPayers' Alliance and the Drivers' Alliance, on 07793 674 711, at jennifer.dunn@driversalliance.org.uk
or at jennifer.dunn@taxpayersalliance.com

 

Notes to Editors

1) The TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) is Britain's independent, non-partisan campaign for lower taxes and better services. Founded in 2004, it has over 55,000 supporters nationwide.

2) The Drivers' Alliance (DA) campaigns for fair and unbiased policies for road users. The Drivers' Alliance aims to inform the public debate surrounding the social benefits of personal transport, the environmental and safety issues relating to the use of motor vehicles and wider environmental policy.

3) The full report can be found here: http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/speedcameras.pdf

4) Methodology: The data on fines raised was obtained by Freedom of Information requests to the Ministry of Justice, the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Scottish Court Service. Due to the way fines data is gathered, please note that the totals include fines levied for "neglect of traffic directions" offences caught on cameras - this may include red light and lane offences, though no breakdown is calculated by the Ministry of Justice or other authorities. Road casualty statistics were obtained from the Department of Transport. A full methodology for the statistical analysis of casualty rates can be found in the main report.

 

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