New Stealthy Speed Cameras - Right or Wrong?

Being a motorist in this country can be very taxing and at times frustrating. So the new "stealthy" speed cameras that have been introduced might be yet another thing for you to worry about.

Motorway speed camera

Driving has become an essential part of most people's working life. We depend on our cars more and more as time goes on but are the governing bodies of road safety and traffic violations beginning to take advantage of this?

There is a lot of debate on the subject. Some would suggest there to be a profiteering mindset flourishing within the governing bodies that control fines and road safety and the evidence to support that claim is mounting.

Have the "powers that be" decided revenue is more important than road safety?

The introduction of new "Stealth" speed cameras certainly seems to support that theory. Nearly 700 drivers have been caught and fined since the roll-out of these sneaky speed sentinels, all within a two month period.

Somewhere, somebody, is rubbing their hands together.

The "stealth" cameras use digital technology and an inconspicuous grey paint job in order to catch out motorists who have become wise to the usual bright yellow boxes. Already proving their metal on the orbital motorway between junctions five and six in Kent and also some parts of the M25, plans have now been made to install these cameras all over the country.

Now all this sounds like a good idea at face value. How can more safety measures be a bad thing? Well, when you look at the amount of money that is actually being generated by these things, combined with the areas that they are installed, you might get a different perspective.

Safety or Profit?

One camera stationed on the M60 near Stockport actually caught 32,205 speeding vehicles and raked in a whopping £1,932,300. The second biggest earner came from Newport in South Wales with the camera racking up over £1.4 Million and even a temporary camera placed in Warwickshire managed to break the £1million mark in 18 months. That's only three cameras. In Scotland, £2.75 million in revenue was generated in 2012 from mobile speed cameras alone.

It's also important to note that UK councils made a combined £600 million in profit from parking tickets alone in 2012. Now we can all agree that people who park selfishly and without consideration are infuriating to say the least. Especially when there are huge signs displayed saying "NO PARKING" right above said selfish drivers parked vehicle (FYI Hazard lights DO NOT make it okay, stop it!)... The question is what kind of shape would the country be in without all this money being generated? How much are we relying on it?

Studies have shown that 95% of UK drivers admit to speeding on the motorway. That is a pretty clear indication as to what is going to happen to 95% of drivers if there are "Stealthy" speed cameras put up all over our motorways. It's also interesting to note that almost half of UK drivers admit to flashing other motorists to warn them of the impending danger that looms ahead if they notice a speed trap.

It begs the question as to why these new cameras are not placed around schools, retirement homes and hospitals or other places where there are more vulnerable people at risk of being struck by a motorist who approaches too quickly. Our own police have, in the past, described the practice of installing speed cameras on roads without a history of accidents to be like "shooting fish in a barrel".

It's a fact that more people die in the UK from failures within the NHS and accidents at home than on our motorways and duel carriageways. Also the accident rate in 2013 was at the lowest since records began, so why are motorways being primed with mobile and "stealth" speed cameras. Safety or Profit?

It seems as though the UK could be becoming dependant on its lawbreakers and that is NEVER a good place to be in.

One example demonstrates this danger very well. In Chicago, Illinois, the city has recently fallen $50 million short of its expected $100 million profit from speed cameras as drivers have started becoming safer and driving in a legal manner.

This should be fantastic news but the sheer loss of money is a big problem for the city and could mean less funding in many areas.

Could this also happen in the UK in coming years? What are your thoughts on speed cameras and the mentality that drives them?

Sources: Telegraph, Independent, Derby Telegraph, Independent, BBC, The Free Thought Project, Manchester Evening News, Telegraph, Express, Wikipedia