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Almost two million speeding tickets are being handed out to drivers every year but the number of road deaths has fallen only marginally, it has been reported.
Labour has greatly increased the number of speed cameras meaning that since the party came to power the number of fixed penalty notices for speeding is said to have trebled from 700,000 a year to more than 1.9 million.
However road deaths have fallen only slightly and the number of deaths from drink-driving has remained stable.
The Government has been accused of using cameras as a ‘cash cow’, and there is growing anger at the rising cost of motoring.
There were only a few speed cameras when Labour took office in 1997 – now that figure is said to be closer to 6,000 in England and Wales.
The figures were released by the Government in response to a parliamentary question and showed that in some areas speeding fines had increased tenfold.
In 1997, motorists were said to have incurred 712,000 fines at £40 each, making them liable to pay out an estimated £28.5 million.
In 2005, the most recent year for which the figures are available, 1.92 million fines were issued at £60 each, costing motorists an estimated £115.2 million.
Paul Smith, of campaign group SafeSpeed said: ‘Speed cameras have been a road safety disaster. Despite millions of fines each year we have not even seen the road safety improvements that we expected.
‘Safer vehicles, improvements to road engineering, improvements to post crash medical care and rescue are major factors that are expected to lead to around a 5% reduction in road deaths each year, even after allowing for the growth in traffic.
‘But we have only seen a 7% improvement in the last 8 years. This is absolutely terrible performance and it is perfectly clear to me that “bad road safety policy” is responsible.’
The Department for Transport insists the money raised from speed cameras passes through the DfT to the safety camera partnerships.
A spokesman said: ‘Safety cameras are there to save lives, not make money.
‘The best safety camera is the one which takes no fines at all, but succeeds in making everyone slow down.
‘Independent research shows a 42 per cent reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured at camera sites - that means more than 100 fewer deaths each year.’