Thursday, Oct 23, 2008
A town has become the first to abolish fixed-point speed cameras, officials said Thursday.
The town council of Swindon voted to ditch the cameras in a row over funding.
The council, which is Conservative-controlled, thought it was unfair that it had to pay 320,000 pounds a year to maintain the cameras while the central Labour government received the cash from fines.
Peter Greenhalgh, the Conservative councillor who proposed the move, told BBC radio that too much money was being spent on the cameras.
He said offical figures “show that, nationally, only six percent of accidents are caused by people breaking speed limits and yet almost 100 percent of the government’s road safety money is being invested in speed cameras,” he said.
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“I can see that’s wrong and I think the people of this country can see that’s wrong.”
Labour councillor Derique Montaut responded that while the cameras had not always been popular, they had saved lives.
The move does not mean that Swindon residents can now drive as fast as they like — police will still use hand-held devices to catch speeding drivers.