I received a parking ticket recently. ‘No parking’ cones were put on the pavement after I moved off. Naturally I challenged the ticket and I will let you know how I fared. Related to this I came across a newspaper article written by Patrick Hennessy, political editor of the Telegraph. The heading was “Police told to stop milking drivers”. The new “transparency” move launched recently has revealed the vast sums taken from drivers. The Freedom of Information laws now force authorities to show whether cameras are used for saving lives or merely cash raisers. With at least one camera raising over £1,000,000 per year one might suspect that some degree of cheating has been going on. Mike Penning, the road safety minister said “We want to stop motorists being used as cash cows. For too long information about speed cameras has been hidden in the shadows. This new data will end that by clearly showing whether a camera is saving lives or just making money”
I mentioned my doubts about moneybox speed cameras in my blog April 2004. I am surprised that it has taken over seven years for legislation to be introduced so this shady practice to be brought to light.
I am not against speed cameras placed to save life. No thinking person would say otherwise. I am pleased, however, how the new ‘open government’ initiative has permitted us to ensure that motorists will be treated fairly.
From 20 July you will be able to access details on the number of speed traps in your area, the fines they generate and the accident statistics at the sites. See the Department for Transport website. www2.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/