The Telegraph: Four times more speed fines under Labour

Thursday, 7 August, 2008

MOTORISTS are paying four times more in speeding fines than when Labour came to power, according to figures obtained by the Conservatives.

Drivers are now paying pounds 200 a minute to the public purse, prompting the Tories to accuse the Government of treating them as "cash cows''.

In 1997, 712,753 speeding tickets were issued as a result of motorists being caught by camera and police patrols.

By 2006, according to figures released by the Home Office in a Commons written reply, this had soared to 1,773,412.

With the cost of a fixed penalty notice having risen from pounds 40 to pounds 60 in 2000, the cash raised has increased from pounds 28.5 million to pounds 106.4 million.

David Ruffley , the shadow police reform minister said: "Ministers need to tell us what they are doing with this pounds 100 million a year taken from motorists. How much is actually put back into practical road safety that does not involve speed cameras?

"Ministers' failure to answer that question confirms the view that for this Government, the British motorist is 'a nice little earner'.

"Is Labour using speeding tickets just to raise revenue rather than making our roads safer? Using speed cameras as a cash cow undermines public confidence.

"The Government needs to rethink ways of improving road safety, including cracking down on uninsured drivers.''

The Department for Transport defended cameras, saying: "Safety cameras are there to save lives, not make money.

"Independent research has shown that there are 1,745 fewer deaths and serious injuries at camera sites each year.

"The best safety camera is one which takes no fines at all, but succeeds in deterring drivers from speeding.''