Accidents on the up as cameras net £4m
PUBLISHED: 03:56 14 December 2006 | UPDATED: 10:21 24 May 2010
SPEED cameras in Avon and Somerset have generated nearly £4.5million in the past year, but in over half the locations accident numbers have either gone up or stayed the same
SPEED cameras in Avon and Somerset have generated nearly £4.5million in the past year, but in over half the locations accident numbers have either gone up or stayed the same.The figures, obtained by the Weston & Somerset Mercury under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that since a fixed speed camera was put up in New Bristol Road, Worle, in October 2004, accidents have more quadrupled in the last 12 months. There were no incidents in the year from October 2004 to September 2005, but between October 2005 and September this year there have been four accidents. The camera, between Worle and Mendip green schools, has been repeatedly targeted by protestors and is currently out of action after being set alight (see report on page 17).A further set of reports produced by the Avon and Somerset Safety Camera Partnership show that from June 2005 to March 2006 a total of 73,914 fixed penalty fines were paid at a cost of £4.43million to the speeding motorist. When costs were taken into account, which includes spending nearly £800,000 on enforcement equipment, a profit of more than £500,000 was made.The one place in North Somerset where accidents have decreased significantly in places where a fixed speed camera has been put up is on the B3130 at Tickenham where accidents have gone down from five between September 2004 and August 2005 to one between September 2005 and August 2006.Avon and Somerset Safety Camera Partnership spokesman, Dave Gollicker, said: "We are aware that there has been vandalism carried out on speed cameras in North Somerset and obviously if they are out of action the camera can't be effective."The people vandalising the cameras have blood on their hands."When cameras are vandalised it will always have the effect that people will feel free to violate laws. They think they only have to slow down for a camera.