M90 speed cameras raise £270,000 from speeding drivers
Published 10 Sep 2012 09:30 13 Comments
NEARLY 4500 drivers were caught by average speed cameras on the M90 in Fife between October 2011 and July 2012, which is expected to generate up to £270,00 for HM Treasury.
Figures released by Fife Constabulary reveal that on average, nearly 450 drivers per month were caught exceeding the 40mph speed restriction on stretches of road between Halbeath and the Forth Road Bridge and Pitreavie roundabout and the M90 in Fife over the 10-month period.
A total of 4459 speeding offences were recorded on this stretch of road which will amount to £267,540 in drivers fines for HM Treasury, should the majority of offenders accept the £60 penalty and three points on their license rather than contest charges in court.
These latest figures are of growing concern to local Labour MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, John Park, MSP, who believes that speed cameras are being used for income generation rather than the protection of road workers and other motorists.
He said, "It is vital that the drivers buy into safety measures - these figures don't look good at first glance - and appear to be about making money rather than keeping people safe.
"I recognise the importance of ensuring the safety of workers by making sure motorists drive at sensible speeds but I spoke to many constituents who were concerned about the practicality of these cameras."
He added, "Many complained that the signage was confusing in parts - particularly for those entering and leaving the motorway just north of the bridge and this was endangering drivers.
"Many also complained that they could not understand why cameras were active for the full length of the works when the vast majority of the road did not have workers on it."
However, SNP MSP Graeme Dey believes the cameras have done their job in convicting those endangering the safety of road workers.
He said, "I think the figures demonstrate just how effective average speed cameras are in ensuring that motorists drive at safe speeds through areas where workers are going about their business.
"When you consider the large numbers of vehicles travelling on the stretch of road in question and the number of days that the restrictions were in place, then 4459 is a relatively low number of people found to have broken the limit.''
Following these statistics for the M90, a leading road safety expert has also questioned the amount of education drivers are being given about this type of speed camera.
Andrew Howard, head of road safety for the Automobile Association (AA), believes that not enough is being done to teach drivers about how average speed cameras work.
He said, "Normally speed cameras have a reputation for being self-enforcing, people don't brake the rules.
"We've had this one on the M90 and another one on the M62 which has reversed that pattern.
"The authorities have to look at how well they are communicating the message - they consider that everybody knows what an average speed camera is, perhaps people don't?
"We ought to be learning why these type of cameras seem to be catching people while other ones [static speed cameras] don't?"
The average speed cameras were enforcing temporary speed restrictions during roadworks as part of construction work on the new Forth Crossing.
Drivers face even more delays on the M90 later this month with various planned works between the 14th and 28th September at junctions eight and nine.
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Sep 10, 11:32
Sep 10, 12:34
When driving any vehicle, you are a potential killer. To defy speed limits or drive dangerously is gross.
If prosecuted for a criminal driving offence, this is a very seroius matter as you are only prosecuted if the Crown has surpassed their own evidentual test and believe there is a reasonable chance of conviction.
It beggers believe therefore, that any high ranking public servent is allowed to carry on their duties and are not suspended on full pay pending the outcome of any subsequent criminal trial.
What message does that send out to all the speeders included within in this report?
Someone iswas lacking gumption to take appropriate action.
Take the rioters last year. Examples were made of them when it came to being convicted.
Recommend? Yes 19 No 11
Sep 10, 19:35
For the most part 'static speed cameras' don't catch people because many drivers break just before them then accelerate just after them.
Often their speed well before and well after (a few hundred meters), bears no relation to the actual speed limit!
I'm all for the use of Average Speed Cameras, not just during road works but for say difficult motorway and carriageway junctions where motorists are having to change lanes and a lower speed adds to all round road safety.
Recommend? Yes 5 No 7
Sep 10, 19:45
Sep 11, 06:35
Care is required in road works whether workers are there or not. Road works involve restricted lane widths and changing unusual road layouts. As well as protecting workers lower limits are there to protect the public who drive through these schemes...hey that's you and I.
Drivers don't need telling how average speed cameras work, they just need to drive safely AND within the law.
Recommend? Yes 5 No 6
Sep 11, 10:41
@lydiapot1 - the criminal justice system in the UK is very clear - innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Every member of the public has the right to a fair trial and if you, as a member of the public feels there are mitigating circumstances in relation to your case then you have the right to defend yourself - this has no bearing on what your day job is and shouldn't either. Just saying.
Recommend? Yes 5 No 8
Sep 11, 11:25
Sep 11, 20:40
Yes indeed it is very clear as you rightly state.
However, if you were to apply the same philosophy that you state to the many cases whereby, for example, nurses, doctors, teachers etc. are facing a criminal charge, then there should be no reported cases of anyone being suspended from their 'day job' on full pay awaiting conclusion of criminal proceedings against them.
However, there have been many such cases of people being suspended pending criminal proceedings. So why is this, they are innocent until proven otherwise, right?
Well I would imagine it depends on how appropriate it would be for the person to continue performing their 'day job' whilst under suspicion of a criminal act. For example, a very senior officer-in-law (who is entrusted to enforce the law of the land on every single person within their area) facing a criminal charge. Or, a teacher being prosecuted for inappropriate conduct against a minor.
Fife has witnessed such instances very recently, some being suspended and some not.
Recommend? Yes 10 No 1
Sep 12, 16:35
Broken down over a period of 10 months, these figures equate to around 15 drivers per day being caught. As Mr Dey, quoted in the story says, this seems like a low number and suggests that the vast majority of drivers complied with the lower speed limit. It also suggests that, contrary to the statement from the AA representative, the vast majority of drivers understood perfectly well how these cameras work. The cameras did not seem to have a huge impact on drive times through the works, nor did they appear to generate extra congestion. It all seemed well managed to me. Hopefully the various works around the new bridge on both sides of the river will be managed as well over the next few years.
The number of accidents on the A77 have reduced since average speed cameras were introduced there. It is not unreasonable to think there was a causal link. If this is so, then there may well be a case for similar cameras on other roads with a high incidence of fatalities, such as stretches of the A9.
Recommend? Yes 6 No 0
Sep 12, 19:45
@lydiapot1 The case you are referring to us obviously the Chief Constable who has been reported to the PF for Careless Driving as a result if a road accident. I obviously don't know the whole ins and outs of the case, however, what I do know is that road accidents occur everyday of the year and each and every person involved in one of those accidents can be charged with careless driving as a result. We're not talking about abusing a child here, nor a life threatening incident. The type of accident that could happen to any of us on a cold & frosty morning (as I believe it was that day). I do think that would be really harsh to be suspended from your job for that. Police officers are not above the law & are often punished harsher in the courts because "they should know better" - and I probably agree with that.
Recommend? Yes 0 No 1
Sep 12, 20:44
Exactly the comment I hoped for, specifically wrt 'nor a life threatening incident'. I beg to differ on this one.
I refer to my first post above. Anyone driving a vehicle becomes a potential killer, not that most would set out with the intention but nevertheless the potential is there to kill or injure and with the potential of becoming responsible for killing and injuring multiple people in one single incident. No one could argue. That is a fact.
Serious issue, you bet it is.
The incident you (not I) refer, resulted in two people being taken away for hospital treatment. Enough said.
Recommend? Yes 1 No 0
Sep 12, 22:06
Yes, I accept that you have the 'potential' to kill with a vehicle - but sometimes human error factors in and accidents happen. I have no idea if this was down to human error or otherwise (like speeding or using a mobile) but this was clearly not a life threatening incident as the report is for careless driving, not Dangerous driving. Still think it would be harsh to be suspended for something like this. Different if it was for drunk driving even dangerous driving.
Recommend? Yes 0 No 0
Sep 14, 09:16
Hi Spoonie, I hear what you're saying and I do sympathise, but I think that Lydia is correct.
When investigating incidents like these, the police will refer to them as 'collisions' not 'accidents' as they do not yet know whether one or both driver(s) are at fault. Unless and until there is a guilty verdict - or Ms Graham pleads guilty at the pre-trial hearing in November, which would not surprise me - she is indeed fully entitled to be presumed innocent. However, the police enforce the law and have to be not only whiter than white, but seen to be so. This is all the more so in the case of the Chief Constable, who is in a leadership role. The proper course of action here would have been for Ms Graham to be suspended on full pay until the court proceedings had been concluded. If she had been found not guilty, then she could return to post with no blemish on her character. It is not clear to me why there have been so many procedural hearings in this case and a suspension might well have accelerated the court process.
I lost both my father and cousin on the roads. One was the result of a genuine accident, the other as a result of a failure on the part of another driver for which he was convicted. I am saddened and angered when I see people suggest that road traffic offences are somehow not 'real' offences - as a member of the Fife Police Board was quoted as implying in another newspaper report relating to this matter. That sends the signal that offences such as using a mobile while driving, which Fife Constabulary this week seem to think is a problem, are not really anything to get worked up about, despite the dangers that involves. The police must lead by example otherwise their credibility will be shattered. While I have sympathy for Ms Graham and am sorry that her career has ended under a cloud in this way, I believe that this issue has been badly handled by all concerned. The Police Board are supposed to hold the Chief Constable to account. I see little sign of that here.
Recommend? Yes 8 No 0
Sep 21, 09:39
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