Almost a quarter of fixed speed cameras are not being used, according to insurance firm Confused.
New Freedom Of Information (FOI) data obtained by Confused.com reveals there are currently 1,714 fixed speed camera sites in use across the UK, with 23% not currently in use.
Despite so many fixed cameras effectively being ‘switched off’, there are still 345 mobile cameras in operation by police forces on British roads.
The figures obtained from police also show that the 1,714 fixed cameras located around the UK caught nearly one million motorists last year (968,715), whereas far fewer mobile units (345) were responsible for catching 774,537 speeding motorists. This means a mobile speed camera will catch nearly three times more speeding offenders than a fixed camera.
Roger Reynolds, the policeman who first introduced the speed camera to the UK 23 years ago, is sceptical about the way cameras have been implemented.
He said: “Speed cameras have not always proven an effective method of tackling speeding offences. Enforcement agencies have been too strict with minor offenders – one in eight (13%) motorists said they have been sanctioned for driving just 1-4 mph over the limit! – in order to raise revenue and not tough enough with those who really pose a danger on the roads.”
Research conducted by Confused.com to complement the FOI data also reveals that nearly two-thirds of drivers (66%) admit to speeding, with nearly one in five (18%) of those saying they flout the legal limit on a daily basis. And whilst so many say they do break the speed limit, less than a third (31%) say they have actually been caught.
The findings also reveal that more than one in five drivers (21%) have witnessed erratic driving around the cameras – perhaps no surprise with many motorists admitting to changing their speed as they approach and pass cameras. Worryingly, one in 10 (10%) motorists say they have witnessed a near miss as a result of a speed camera, with one in 20 (5%) saying that they have actually had an accident as a direct result of them.
And though nearly a quarter (23%) say that speed cameras don’t affect their driving, nearly three quarters (70%) say that they do actually prevent them from speeding. When it comes to average speed cameras, more than three in five (61%) say they always drive on or below the speed limit when they are in force.