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Old 11-05-2015, 05:08 AM   #1
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Cash cow speed cameras back

A fraction over limit will be too much under Bedfordshires zero tolerance plans

THE final pretence that speed cameras are intended to increase safety was dropped yesterday when Bedfordshire police and crime commissioner Olly Martin announced intentions to permanently switch on the speed cameras on stretches of the M1 passing through his region.

Complaining of a lack of funding for police in the area, Martin suggests that permanently using speed cameras between J10 and J13, where the M1 crosses his patch, will raise as much as £1 million annually for his force. The cost to motorists would be far higher, since the majority of money will go straight to central government coffers.

At the moment, the cameras on the stretch are only used to enforce variable speed limits, for instance in poor weather or when limits are lowered to relieve congestion.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Martin’s plans are not simply to turn on the cameras but to implement a zero-tolerance agenda, whereby any motorist caught on camera even fractionally over the 70mph limit will be slapped with three points and a £100 fine. Ironically, given the admission that this is about making money rather than road safety, less serious ‘offenders’ may be offered the option of paying £90 for a speed awareness course, thus avoiding the points and fine.

Martin’s justification is that his force, which covers an area with some of the worst gun crime in the country, is financially stretched and only able to provide 169 officers per 100,000 people – far lower than the national average of 232 per 100,000.
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