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Tuesday, 11 February, 2003, 18:18 GMT
More speed cameras for Britain
Speed camera sign
Only one out of every 10 cameras contain film
More speed cameras are to be installed across Britain, although a hard core of reckless drivers continue to ignore them.

And the government is considering increasing speeding penalties, according to transport secretary Alistair Darling.

Department for Transport (DfT) figures published on Tuesday indicate roads with speed cameras have seen a 35% drop in deaths and serious injuries.

This means more than 280 have been prevented, saving tax-payers 112m.

We shall review the level of penalty points and fines

Transport Secretary Alistair Darling

The figures show no government could justify scrapping them, according to Mr Darling.

The number of people killed or seriously injured in the areas around cameras fell by up to 67% in Strathclyde, 62% in Lincolnshire and 53% in Cleveland.

But in Essex the number of deaths and serious injuries within 545 yards (500 metres) of a camera rose by 15%.

And the number of injuries near cameras in the Thames Valley rose by 14%.

Mr Darling said cameras in Essex and the Thames Valley might need to be moved.

And he told The Times newspaper: "We shall review the level of penalty points and fines."

Speed camera
Number of working cameras could double says Dft

Of the 27m in fines paid by thousands of drivers caught on film in Cleveland, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Strathclyde, Essex, south Wales and the Thames Valley during the past two years, 21m was used to buy more speed cameras and 6m went to the Treasury.

DfT officials say the fines can now pay for the number of working cameras to double.

At the moment as few as one out of every 10 actually contain film.

But the government believes drivers now accept the need for speed cameras.

And it hopes they will become common across the country.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Wyre Davies
"The police swear by speed cameras"
See also:

11 Feb 03 | England
10 Feb 03 | Wales
13 Aug 01 | UK
07 Jan 03 | Wales
10 Feb 03 | England
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