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Last Updated: Friday, 30 April, 2004, 12:27 GMT 13:27 UK
Cameras catch increased numbers
Speed camera
Increased speed cameras have caught more drivers
The number of offending drivers caught on camera in England and Wales rose 40% in 2002 to one and a half million, Home Office figures have shown.

Of those caught, 94% were speeding and the rest went through red lights.

Increased camera numbers are funded by fines collected for driving offences, and cameras accounted for 85% of all speeding offences dealt with by police.

The total number of motoring offences or penalty charge notices rose 11% to 11.8m - a record number.

The statistics also showed that the number of drivers who refused breath tests or gave positive results rose 4% to just over 100,000.

As more speed cameras have been introduced, so inevitably the number of people caught by them has leapt.

The 2002 figure is a significant leap from the half a million people who were caught in 1999.

However, many are unhappy to see the fines accrued from speed camera convictions going towards more speed cameras.

Awareness courses

The RAC Foundation believes the money should be spent on increasing the number of traffic police and improving dangerous junctions and other road blackspots.

It argues that people can avoid prosecution for serious motoring offences because cameras are increasingly replacing traffic police.

Executive director Edmund King has called for more "speed awareness courses" for drivers caught speeding, instead of fines and penalty points.

He said that sending out millions of fines and points would not necessarily improve road safety.


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Simon Montague
"More than half the money from speeding fines is ploughed into buying more speed cameras"



SEE ALSO:
Survey finds speed camera support
28 Apr 04  |  Northamptonshire
Speed cameras leave bitter taste
20 Apr 04  |  Tyne/Wear
Cameras 'to replace London humps'
15 Apr 04  |  Politics


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