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Profits made by speed camera partnerships in England & Wales during 2004/05 (the surplus after deduction of maintenance, salaries & other expenses)

Speed Camera Revenues
   The 6,000 speed cameras in England and Wales trapped 2 million drivers in 2004/05 and raised fines worth £120 million, of which £17.6 million was pure profit. Camera partnerships are required to hand any surplus not used for installing more speed cameras to the Treasury – so that Gordon Brown can chuck it down his Black Hole – which explains why New Labour is so keen on them.
   The system has been described as a 'self-perpetuating bureaucracy' because the more profits are 're-invested' to extend the speed camera network, the greater the amount of money raised and the larger the army of bureaucrats required to administer the system becomes.
   In December 2005, a major flaw in the system was exposed. A motorist travelling at 18 mph in a 30 mph zone was prosecuted for doing 46 mph because 'the camera's radar signal appeared to have bounced off a passing bus'. He had to waste a lot of time and money to prove in court, using photographs taken by the offending camera, that he was travelling at a legal speed. The photographs, of course, had not been checked by the camera's operator.
   This automatic presumption of guilt because the equipment is assumed to be perfect, and the subsequent legal battles to establish the truth, are all good business for those earning a living from the 'justice system'. But the issue of road safety, the alleged reason why speed cameras were introduced in the first place, seems to have been lost in the shuffle.

Here are some figures on speed camera surpluses, sorted in alphabetical order of partnership, to allow Garbagegate's readers to find out where the empire building is going on. Some police forces go in for driver education programmes as an alternative to a fines. The figure in brackets is the chance of being fined after receiving a notice of prosecution.

Avon, Somerset & Gloucestershire £624,668 (57%)
Bedfordshire and Luton £1,172,340 (100%)
Cambridgeshire £175,199 (79%)
Cheshire £126,665 (100%)
Cleveland £10,970 (99%)
Cumbria £378,042 (??)
Derbyshire £425,836 (71%)
Devon & Cornwall £941,980 (79%)
Dorset £39,838 (84%)
Essex £87,887 (58%)
Greater Manchester £421,564 (53%)
Hampshire & Isle of Wight £686,152 (71%)
Hertfordshire £1,245,177 (100%)
Humberside £366,743 (100%)
Kent £752,913 (100%)
Lancashire £1,019,910 (77%)
Leicestershire £229,045 (83%)
Lincolnshire £11,572 (94%)
London £376,571 (46%)
Norfolk £106,648 (86%)
Northamptonshire £2,846 (73%)
Northumbria £1,713,923 (59%)
Nottinghamshire £76,517 (79%)
South Yorkshire £496,475 (76%)
Staffordshire £7,458 (73%)
Suffolk £544,022 (92%)
Sussex £137,356 (70%)
Thames Valley £1,000,457 (59%)
Wales, Mid & South £1,233,731 (72%)
Wales, North £15,416 (77%)
Warwickshire £499,682 (80%)
West Mercia £806,240 (100%)
West Midlands £645,551 (59%)
West Yorkshire £448,423 (100%)
Wiltshire £804,807 (85%)

Road Safety or just another Stealth Tax?
   Speed cameras are supposed to be all about persuading motorists drive slower to make the roads safer. Yet the government is trying to find an appeal court which will rule that anyone who warns other motorists of a police speed trap is obstructing police attempts to raise revenue through speeding fines. If it is illegal to advise other motorists to obey speed limits then speed cameras really are all about raising revenue and nothing much to do with road safety.

source – Daily Mail

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