A motoring group has questioned whether a rising number of speeding fines is actually reducing the number of accidents on the roads.
The Association of British Drivers (ABD) says that despite thousands more speeders being caught by increasingly advanced cameras, more people are still being injured or worse in car accidents.
According to figures from the Ministry of Justice, some 115,000 motorists in England and Wales were caught speeding and fined at least £100 last year.
The figure is the highest since the Coalition Government came into power and the rise is being put down to a new generation of speed cameras which can catch motorists at any time of the day or night. The modern cameras, which don’t rely on film, are slowly being introduced across the country.
Speeding drivers are one of the major reasons why thousands of people are injured or killed on the roads every year.
One of the biggest increases in the number of speeding fines was seen in Essex; where courts issued 44% more punishments last year compared with the year before. The county saw over 3,000 tickets issued during 2013.
Avon and Somerset saw over a third (34%) more fines, with tickets reaching almost 4,000. Meanwhile there was an increase of about a quarter in six other police areas. Hampshire, Lancashire, Gwent and Staffordshire all saw rises.
But the ABD says that there is no evidence to suggest that speeding tickets are cutting accidents and instead they are considered a “cash cow” used to generate income for the Treasury.
When the Coalition first came into power in 2010, the number of speeding fines in England and Wales issued by magistrates initially fell from 114,279 to 110,191 the following year. Since 2011, the number of tickets has been on the increase.
In total some 452,540 speeding fines have been issued by magistrates since 2010, generating some £45 million for the Treasury.
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