UK To Stop Funding Speed Cameras

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

If there’s one reason we dedicate as many pixels as we do to the rise of speed cameras in the US, it’s the UK. We’ve seen how speed cameras have taken over Old Blighty, jamming the newswires with reports of mis-ticketing, unwarranted surveillance and popular backlashes against the dread cameras. But apparently the UK has decided that, with more speed cameras than any other nation on earth, it’s time to stop building more. Totallymotor reports that road safety minister Mike Penning has announced that his new conservative government will stop financing the construction of speed cameras by local authorities, bringing an end to a decade’s worth of camera build-up. Penning tells local authorities that they are free to purchase cameras with their own money, but that the government will encourage the use of alternative safety measures.

Needless to say there’s already been some backlash prompted by the decision.Safety advocate Julie Townsend tells TM that

It’s vital that the government continues to invest in proven technology like speed cameras, alongside other crucial road safety measures like traffic policing and education. These measures not only help to prevent the unspeakable trauma of a sudden bereavement or serious injury, they also make good economic sense, helping to stem the huge cost to the economy of road death and injury

But this “economic sense” is precisely why speed camera funding is going away. Because local governments make so much money from speed cameras, they’ve become hugely unpopular, inspiring the popular nickname “greed cameras.” And despite wrangling with a massive budget deficit, the new conservative government headed by David Cameron refuses to rely on them due to their sheer unpopularity. Penning explains:

The public must be confident speed cameras are there for road safety – not as a cash cow. Under this Government it will not be so

Cheers to that!

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • John Fritz John Fritz on Jun 21, 2010

    All this means is that there's a more effective, more draconian method of enforcement/surveillance in the works.

  • Detroit-Iron Detroit-Iron on Jun 21, 2010
    Safety advocate Julie Townsend How can you say that? Shouldn't it read evil busybody Julie Townsend, who would like all humans to be put in ovens for their own safety
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