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Last Updated: Monday, 23 February, 2004, 17:32 GMT
End of the road for speed cameras
Speed camera
Officers will also need permission to use mobile speed cameras
Up to 140 speed cameras could be removed from London's streets and replaced with signs telling drivers how fast they are travelling.

The London Safety Camera Partnership, including the Metropolitan Police and Transport for London (TfL), is looking at the move amid anger over fines.

Hundreds of cameras in the UK have been attacked in the past two years.

Of the 400 cameras in London only 260 have film in and the other 140 still flash when cars break speed limits.

Under the plans, police will also have to receive permission from a senior officer if they want to use a mobile speed camera.

Cameras are there to save lives and change driver behaviour, they are not there to raise money
Department of Transport

It is thought the removal of the cameras could trigger a similar response elsewhere.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens says the cameras should be used to focus on preventing accidents at blackspots, not raising money from drivers.

Shadow transport secretary Damian Green has called for a national audit of cameras.

He wants to know which are necessary for road safety and which appear to be used for raising money.

He said: "I'm delighted that the Metropolitan Commissioner has responded so quickly and sensibly to the misuse of speed cameras.

"Conservatives think they should only be used for road safety, not as a silent tax collector for Gordon Brown."

A spokeswoman for the Department of Transport told BBC News Online: "We are clear that cameras should only be used where there is a history of accidents.

"Cameras are there to save lives and change driver behaviour, they are not there to raise money.

"We recently wrote to all partnerships for assurance that all cameras are where they should be and early indications are that they are."

The BBC's Simon Montague
"The police are convinced that cameras work"

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