Number of speeding tickets issued to Northamptonshire motorists drops by 20 per cent

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THE number of drivers issued with speeding tickets has dropped by 20 per cent following the axing of speed cameras last year.

A police chief stressed that speeding was still a priority in the county following the controversial switch off in April 2011.

In the 12 months since the axing, 21,950 motorists have been caught breaking the county’s speed limits by the force’s mobile enforcement cameras.

It compares with 28,359 who were caught in the previous 12 months, the vast majority by fixed cameras.

The cameras were turned off after Northamptonshire County Council voted to disband the county’s Casualty Reduction Partnership, despite opposition by Northamptonshire Police.

Last year the force revealed they had seen an increase in speeding cars since the cameras were switched off.

Northamptonshire Police Superintendent Sean Bell said this week: “Fixed site cameras were effectively switched off at the end of March 2011 following the withdrawal of funding for the Casualty Reduction Partnership.

“Northamptonshire Police now focuses on the pro-active use of mobile camera vans to enforce speeds throughout the county.

“Tackling speeding remains a priority for the force as part of the Fatal Four campaign which also looks at the use of mobile phones when driving, drink and drug driving, and seat belt use.”

The figures come as the county’s death toll on the roads hits 14 already this year, compared to just four in the first three months of last year prior to the switch off.

But overall last year the county saw a 21 per cent drop in the number of deaths which totalled 19.

Superintendent Bell added: “Sadly 2012 has so far seen 14 deaths on the county’s roads. Each of these fatal collisions will be thoroughly investigated by our collision investigation team and all possible causation factors explored.

“We will continue to work with our partners to ensure the roads are as safe as they can be and would urge all road users to take care and think road safety at all times.”

Northampton South MP Brian Binley said he was not surprised to hear the number of tickets being issued has dropped.

He added: “I believe cameras are primarily a way of making money. There are other ways of dealing with speeding.

“The trouble is the point that cameras can in fact cause accidents cannot be proved because the figures have never been produced.”