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 Post subject: wales online 17.8.08
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 20:50 
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Motorists in Wales pay £10m in driving fines
Aug 17 2008 by Ben Glaze, Wales On Sunday

MOTORISTS in Wales fork out a whopping £26,000 a day on speeding and red-light fines, Wales on Sunday can reveal.

Drivers spend almost £10m a year on fixed penalties – and this figure doesn’t include people stopped at the roadside or prosecuted in court.

Cash generated is ploughed back into road safety. This includes paying for extra cameras, increasing the chances of motorists getting caught.

Wales has 739 camera sites, including 159 fixed speed cameras and 538 locations where police wield radar guns. There are another 42 cameras to catch drivers running red lights. Some motorists choose not to pay the £60 conditional offer and opt to fight the charge in court. Others are hauled before magistrates because they were going so fast.

But the fixed penalties levied on 160,126 drivers across the four police force areas in 2006 alone totalled:

£3,569,460 in North Wales;

£3,118,200 in Gwent;

£2,207,880 in South Wales;

£712,020 in Dyfed Powys.

The fines work out at £26,322 a day or £1,096 an hour.

Clare Armstrong of campaign group safe- said last night: “This is money wasted. It’s teaching drivers nothing about road safety.

“Ultimately it’s a failed policy. What a horrendous thing to do to the public, to charge them so much money and not improve road safety.

“These figures are just appalling. If that money had been spent on traffic police officers on the road to stop people immediately when they speed and correct them for other things they might also have been doing, then people drive more safely.”

Taxpayers’ Alliance spokeswoman Corin Taylor branded fines a “stealth tax”. He said: “We have seen speed camera fines rise across the UK and these figures fit within that trend.

“They are shockingly high and it shows how speed cameras are often used to make money, almost like a stealth tax, rather than deter speeding drivers. Forces are being very unimaginative.”

He said motorists staring at speedometers were distracted from what was happening on the road ahead. He preferred to see signs alerting drivers to their speed as they entered built-up areas.

“Forces are fixed on catching otherwise law-abiding drivers and raising a huge amount of revenue,” said Mr Taylor. “It’s really not the best way to go about reducing accidents on the road.”

Cameras in Wales are operated by two organisations. The Mid and South Wales Safety Camera Partnership is responsible for devices in the South Wales, Gwent and Dyfed Powys police force areas, including 26 mobile vans and seven bikes.

Its website says: “Neither the police nor any other partners in the safety camera scheme make any profit from speed and red light fines.

“All fines’ revenue is passed to the Treasury. The Safety Camera Partnership is funded by a grant from the Welsh Assembly Government.

“This means there is no incentive for safety camera partnerships to place cameras anywhere other than where they are needed to improve road safety. All the funding we receive is invested into making roads safer by targeting enforcement where it is needed most to reduce speeds.”

Partnership manager Jim Moore said last night: “While the focus of the statistics is revenue generated, we must not forget that safety cameras are having a positive effect in reducing speeds and casualties on Welsh roads.

He said cameras can only be placed at “known accident hotspots, at sites of community concern or in roadworks – not where they will generate the most money”.

He added: “Speeding and jumping red lights are serious offences – it’s not just about the fine or points on the licence, but driving above the speed limit can put lives at risk.”

The North Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership launched its Arrive Alive campaign in 2001, with 13 fixed cameras and 84 mobile sites.

A spokeswoman said: “The overall aim of the partnership is to reduce the number of people killed and injured on the roads by using mobile and fixed safety cameras as a positive method of deterring drivers from excessive speed.

“Speed is still a key contributory factor to collisions in North Wales.

“As well as enforcement, our strategy also includes education, engagement and engineering.

“We endeavour to educate groups most susceptible to collisions (young drivers, motorcyclists), educate vulnerable road users (children, pedestrians), work closely with our communities to tackle antisocial driving and seek cost-effective engineering solutions.

“In 2007, the number of people killed or seriously injured on camera routes in North Wales was reduced by 63% compared with our baseline before partnership enforcement.

“Ultimately it is the driver’s responsibility to remain within the speed limit. If drivers do not remain within these limits, they increase the risk of collision and possible injury. They also increase the risk of prosecution.”

Speed limit sign radio interview. TV Snap Unhappy
“It has never been the rule in this country – I hope it never will be - that suspected criminal offences must automatically be the subject of prosecution” He added that there should be a prosecution: “wherever it appears that the offence or the circumstances of its commission is or are of such a character that a prosecution in respect thereof is required in the public interest”
This approach has been endorsed by Attorney General ever since 1951. CPS Code

 Post subject: Re: wales online 17.8.08
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 01:50 
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Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 14:06
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Well, we know their 63% figure is imaginative accounting, also known as lying, I wonder what their figure is for lives saved against fines raised...

Its not about money!

Regulation without education merely creates more criminals.

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