Camera Fact vs. Fiction

“You put your cameras where you catch most drivers!”

All cameras in this area are located where there is a history of collisions and a persistent speeding problem. Our job is to reduce the number of collisions occurring through enforcing the speed limit; that is why we put cameras where they are and publicise the locations.

“You hide your cameras behind bushes, trees and bridges to catch motorists out.”

Since 1st April 2007, we have been allowed to deploy our cameras in any way we deem effective – whether that be covertly or continuing to following previous rules requiring all speed cameras to be highly visible. In this area, we have continued to adopt the policy of open enforcement and therefore all of our cameras, both the fixed speed cameras and the mobile camera vans are clearly visible and conspicuous and all core camera sites are signed up to warn and remind motorists that speed and traffic signal enforcement is carried out.

“The police are just making money out of this.”

The Safety Camera Scheme or the Police do not make money out of speed cameras. Previously, each safety camera partnership had to submit a case to the Department for Transport every year to say how much it would cost to operate the cameras and pay staff. Only that amount of money could then be claimed back from fines collected. Any surplus from these fines was retained by the Government.

However, from 1st April 2007, this funding arrangement ceased and now all funding for operating safety cameras has to be acquired through the local government which are Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council and Rutland County Council. Fine money always has and always will be collected by the Fixed Penalty Office within Her Majesty’s Courts Service.

“You are wasting police resources with this; you should be catching real criminals.”

Safety cameras do not waste police time and resources. The Police do not commit any of its budgets to safety camera enforcement whereas previously it did. Speeding is a persistent problem that affects all road users and communities; tackling speeding is a priority for most local policing units in addressing local safety concerns.
Breaking the legal speed limit is against the law and motorists should be aware that if they exceed that limit, there is a possibility of being caught.

“Your cameras won’t catch me; I can slow down for them then put my foot down again after the camera.”

You are missing the point of the cameras being there. We don’t want to catch you; we want you to slow down. In 2008, over 2500 people were killed in road traffic collisions in Great Britain, and the Department for Transport says that breaking the speed limit, or driving too fast for the conditions on the road, contributes to more than 750 deaths and 4,500 injuries every year.

Nobody intends to be involved in a collision that causes one of these deaths, but they occur every day. Sticking to speed the limit reduces the risks of being involved in a collision; it’s as simple as that.

“Speed cameras are a hazard; some driver’s slam on their brakes when they see a camera or constantly watch their speedo!”

Driver’s that brake sharply on seeing a speed camera are the problem, not the camera. Motorists shouldn’t be driving so fast that they need to react in this way. If it wasn’t the camera that caused them to brake unexpectedly, it could easily be something else: a vehicle in front braking, an animal that’s wandered out into the middle of the road, an elderly person or a child.

Other motorists are putting themselves and others at risk by constantly watching their speedometers rather than the road ahead due to the fear of receiving a speeding ticket. Safe driving requires concentration at all times and qualified drivers should be well aware of the approximate speed they are travelling at without the need to constantly check their speedometers.

Also, there are a number of situations in which it is necessary for drivers to be aware of what is happening on the road in directions other than immediately ahead. Examples include using rear and side view mirrors, checking at junctions and roundabouts in order to give way and glancing at your blind spots when changing lanes. These all require drivers to concentrate on other sections of the road other than what’s ahead and there is no evidence to suggest that such short and temporary diversions of concentration are a safety risk.