Drivers face 1,000 new road cameras

By Jason Bennetto Crime Correspondent
Thursday 30 January 2003 01:00

With the impending introduction of the controversial congestion charge, London's motorists must have thought they had enough obstacles in their way.

But today it will be announced that 1,000 new speed cameras are being fitted in the capital in an attempt to cut the number of deaths and serious accidents by 1,125 a year. To pay for the huge increase in fixed roadside and mobile cameras the police and local authorities might have to increase the number of speeding fines from 280,000 a year to 850,000, a road safety study has concluded.

The proposals for a major expansion in speed cameras in London – from 650 – is disclosed in a report by a range of organisations including the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

The five-year scheme for an extra 200 cameras a year would mark a U-turn for the Metropolitan Police which had previously ruled out a large-scale increase in road-side monitors because of fears of alienating the public.

Their use has boomed since the Government agreed in December 1998 that the £60 fines could be used to fund additional camera and safety enforcement.

* The crime rate in central London is expected to fall after the congestion charge is introduced next month, a report by the Metropolitan Police has concluded. The automatic number plate reading system is likely to deter many criminals from driving into the centre of the city.