Speed cameras: Life savers or money makers?
There was an announcement that the Government was to end the 'war on the driver' and start, essentially, cutting the amount of money spent on road safety. However, there's still a load of speed cameras around the country.
Basically, despite the cuts, most counties still have speed cameras in place even though they may have been switched off by local councils.
“Many people believe there has been a mass switch-off of cameras over the past couple of years. But the data shows that overall this is simply not true,” said Stephen Glaister, of the RAC Foundation. “The RAC Foundation’s best evidence is that if all speed cameras were turned off around 80 more people would be killed on the roads each year with 700 others seriously injured. Therefore we welcome these figures which suggest the majority of fixed cameras have been retained and housings are being kept in place to act as a deterrent."
But are speed cameras a deterrent or are they just advanced piggy banks for authorities? There's also the small matter of outdated equipment on the roads, which isn't going to pay for itself and needs updating. Basically, some speed cameras still rely on old-style photographic film instead of digital technology.
Glaister continued: "We are concerned funds won’t be available to purchase new equipment to replace increasingly antiquated film cameras. There is a lack of money for all aspects of road safety and we urge councillors to allocate adequate budgets to protect people on the roads by whatever means is appropriate. Recent figures showing that deaths on the road rose in 2011, for the first time since 2003, only reinforce the need to retain the focus on road safety."