SPEED cameras have been criticised by a local mayor, who described their purpose as to simply “collect revenue”.
Market Weighton’s Councillor Peter Hemmerman spoke to the Post about the recent findings that over £200,000 was raised by one set of cameras, but also that some in our region are actually without recording devices.
It was recently discovered during a controversial investigation by consumer magazine, Which?, that there is only enough recording equipment to cover nine of the 20 speed cameras in East Yorkshire, including the six fixed along the A1079 between Market Weighton and Arras Hill.
The equipment is rotated so drivers remain unaware about which cameras are live.
Safer Roads Humber, who are responsible for the cameras, deflected criticism saying they are still classed as “operational” with drivers not wanting to risk speeding in case recording equipment is installed.
However, it was reported that temporary cameras between Hull and Beverley recently managed to snare more than 3,000 motorists in just 25 days, with most forced to shell out £60 and receive three penalty points on their licence.
Councillor Hemmerman agreed that cameras, with or without recording equipment, can still help put the skids under many speeding drivers, but still questioned their value.
He said: “I tend to agree with the operators that even empty cameras slow people down, but they only slow them down for the period that they pass the cameras.
“Because of this they do not have any effect on the roads in general and in my opinion are only placed to collect revenue.
“The problems on Arras Hill could have been solved by simply extending the double white lines at minimum cost.
“Although I fully sympathise with the opinions of those who have suffered due to speeding drivers, speed is just one of the factors and should not be singled out as the only cause.
“I totally agree with speed reduction measures near schools and children’s play areas and any built up area where vulnerable pedestrians may be affected but on the open road it is only police patrols that can identify all types of bad driving, and they seem to be a thing of the past.”
Safer Roads Humber partnership says the casualty figures have dropped since the introduction of fixed cameras in 2003, with the number of deaths and serious injuries each year dropping from 43 to 17 at sites where cameras operate.
However, speed cameras remain unpopular amongst motorists. Last month vandals even attempted to put a camera out of action at Arras Hill by torching it.
It is thought that a rubber tyre was placed around the device on the westbound carriageway and set alight.
Safer Roads Humber have said that the damage was only superficial, and that repair work is planned.