Anger over speeding fines

AROUND £40,000 a week is being raised from speeding motorists in Suffolk, The Evening Star can reveal today.New figures show that a total of 34,442 £60 fixed penalty notices were handed out to drivers breaking the speed limit in 2006 amounting to more than £2million in fines.

AROUND £40,000 a week is being raised from speeding motorists in Suffolk, The Evening Star can reveal today.

New figures show that a total of 34,442 £60 fixed penalty notices were handed out to drivers breaking the speed limit in 2006 amounting to more than £2million in fines.

That works out a massive £5,700 a day or £238 an hour.

That figure has more than QUADRUPLED since 1997 when 7,271 tickets were dished out at a total value of £436,260.

In the same time period the total number of casualties on Suffolk roads has dropped by just under four per cent - from 3,013 in 1997 to 2,906 in 2006.

The figures came to light following a parliamentary question tabled by MP for Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket, David Ruffley although they vary to those recorded by Suffolk Safety Camera partnership who said they recorded handing out 45,374 tickets in 2006.

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This works out at more than £2.7million in fines.

Mr Ruffley said motorists are being treated like “cash cows”.

He said: “The number of tickets issued for speeding has increased 150 per cent under Labour.

“Coupled with an increase in the basic speeding fine, this means speeding tickets are now raising more than £100 million a year for the Government.

“Ministers need to tell us what they are doing with this £100million a year taken from motorists.

“How much is actually put back into practical road safety that does not involve speed cameras?

“Ministers' failure to answer that question confirms the view that for this Government the British motorist is "a nice little earner".

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Safety Camera Partnership said: “At sites where enforcement takes place we have seen around an 80pc reduction in the number of killed or seriously injured casualties.

“Our only objective is to help to reduce the number of casualties on Suffolk's roads.

“By slowing down drivers will have more time to react to hazards and are less likely to be involved in a collision.

“We work in partnership with many other agencies and you will be able to see all the roads safety interventions within Suffolk at www.suffolkroadsafe.net.”

n. Are speed cameras an important road safety tool or a cash cow? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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