Halland speed camera is among top ten in the country

Halland speed camera
Halland speed camera

A speed camera in Halland has been named among the top ten in the country for catching out drivers breaking the limit.

But t he Sussex Safer Roads Part nership said despite the A22 Eastbourne Road camera detecting a staggering 17,882 drivers breaking the 30mph limit between 2010 and 2012, this was only 0.24 per cent of about 2.517 million vehicles using the busy road in those three years.

The figures were revealed when a Freedom of Information request was made to police forces, including Sussex, asking which camera was triggered the most times.

National newspapers claimed the top ten cameras had made £12million from fines in three years, catching out 200,000 drivers.

Campaigners accused transport bosses of using the cameras to make money rather than improving road safety.

In all, Sussex Police said there were 178,390 offences picked up by cameras across its area during that time.

National newspapers claimed the camera cost motorists £965,040 from the 16,084 figure given.

That figure has since been revised to 17,882 by Sussex Safer Roads for the Sussex Express.

However, Sussex Safer Roads said it was not possible to put a financial figure on the cost.

This was because instead of paying the £60 fine an increasing number of motorists chose to take a Speed Awareness Course, which costs £85, offered to those in certain speed bands and aimed at refreshing drivers’ skills.

With this option drivers do not get points on their licence.

If drivers went to court then the fine plus costs would be likely to be more than £60.

This amount would be set by the magistrates hearing the case.

A spokesman said fine revenue was returned to the Government, so local authorities and police forces do not benefit.

“While headline figures for the amount of money ‘raked in’ might look good, they are not a true representation of the picture on the roads,” he said.

“It is clear from these figures the overwhelming majority of road users travel at, or below, the prosecutable speed limit past this camera.”

Phil Henty, operations manager for the Sussex Safer Roads, said: “All of our safety cameras here in Sussex are monitored to ensure that they are still doing their job - lowering the number of collisions and casualties in the area that they are protecting.

“We are confident that our cameras do just that.

“And if 0.24 per cent of our road users choose to travel over the lawful limit, potentially putting lives in jeopardy, then they will be dealt with at a level commensurate with their offence.”

The Speed Awareness Course is classroom based, lasting four hours.

It is a theory only course and there is no practical element.

It is offered to drivers ‘who have made a minor driving error and have been detected travelling slightly over the speed limit’ and intends to educate rather than punish.