One speed camera in the Welsh capital of Cardiff has raised no less than £800,000 in just six months, after catching 13,624 speeding motorists.
Believed to be one of the biggest earning speed cameras, this camera is fitted on the busy junction of Newport Road and Colchester Avenue to the north of the city centre. The device caught nearly 14,000 drivers breaking the speed limit, alongside 146 motorists who drove through red lights between January and June this year, reports GoSafe Wales.
A Freedom of Information request made last year found that a camera on the M60 near Stockport, to the south of Manchester, was the UK’s highest grossing camera, catching more than 32,000 offenders over three years. If the Cardiff camera continues to catch motorists at its current rate, however, it looks set to tally up more than 82,000 offences by 2017.
If a camera is issuing a small number of fines, or none at all, it's doing its job. But if this camera in Cardiff is ticketing that many people, it's not having that effect.
Not everyone thinks that this camera’s huge income is a success, though. Tim Shallcross, representing the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said that the device had failed in its purpose of slowing vehicles down: “If a camera is issuing a small number of fines, or none at all, it's doing its job. But if this camera in Cardiff is ticketing that many people, it's not having that effect. More than 13,000 is an abnormally high number of offences within a six month period.
"The local authority, which is responsible for road safety, should be looking at those figures and saying, 'We seem to have an issue here – the camera is catching a lot of people. Let's make sure that it looks like a 30mph highway, and that the cameras are clearly visible and the signs aren't obscured by vegetation'. That's the approach they should be taking."
Of the 13,624 caught by this camera, GoSafe Wales discovered that almost 6,000 attended a speed awareness course though more than 3,000 paid a speeding fine instead. Considering the £85 fee typically charged to attend a speed awareness course and minimum speeding fines of £100, this camera could potentially have clawed in £808,140 in income.
Picture: Brian Jackson