Speed cameras tend to produce the same reaction as Marmite: you either love them or hate them.
Those on one side of the argument think they are a valuable road safety tool while their critics think they are nothing more than just another means of raising money from motorists.
Whichever side of the argument you may take, there are some interesting details to be found within the recently released Kent and Sussex speed camera statistics.
One camera in particular, recorded nearly 8,500 speeding drivers over the last 12 months.
Are speed cameras working?
If you take comfort from the number of people caught by the region’s ‘top’ camera last year – on the A22 Eastbourne Road at Halland – such satisfaction would be short lived. Let’s compare the stats from the previous three years:
2011-2012 4,902 drivers caught
2012-2013 7,126 drivers caught
2013-2014 8,430 drivers caught
An increase of over 3,500 in three years hardly suggests a deterrent.
Road safety campaigners still insist cameras are contributing to saving lives but the above figures seem to suggest this particular camera is having little, or no overall effect.
Are speed cameras a cash cow?
The revenue from fixed cameras in Kent and Sussex, as a whole, over the last 12 months was a staggering £3.3m. – up more than £1.1m from the previous year.
If you total the revenue collected in fines from all the cameras in the UK, it must add up to a pretty tidy sum. Quite how much of this revenue makes it’s way back into the road system is unknown. However, the accumulated interest must be considerable.
For financial reasons alone, it seems speed cameras will be around for a good while yet.
With an increase in the installation of unmarked HADECS (often referred to as ‘stealth’ cameras),which are reported to have caught over 700 drivers in two months on the M25, it seems it’s both safer, and more prudent, to observe and obey the posted speed limit at all times.
The argument goes on!