Michael Fabricant is calling for a major review of the siting of Staffordshire’s speed cameras following a Parliamentary Answer he has received from Roads Minister, David Jamieson who has revealed that Staffordshire now has "217 fixed site speed camera installations and no red light cameras. There are currently no mobile camera units" Mr Jamieson says.
"I remain to be convinced that every speed camera is necessary" says Michael Fabricant. "While I strongly believe that speeds should be controlled in accident black spots and by schools, I would be alarmed if Staffordshire’s so-called ‘Safety Cameras’ are being used simply to raise revenue. A number of drivers have raised this issue with me and I am very conscious that the poor motorist is getting a very raw deal indeed at present."
Michael is supporting a scheme promoted by Damian Green, the Shadow Transport Minister. "He has announced a 10 point plan which I am keen to see implemented in Staffordshire", Michael Fabricant says. The plan is as follows:-
- Recognition that cameras are not enough- our policy would promote intelligent driving by improving road design, and the effectiveness of alternatives to penalty-generating cameras, such as electronic sign indicators and driver education.
- To restore public confidence, an independent audit of the estimated 6000 speed cameras in Britain, in order to establish safety needs and positioning of existing fixed speed cameras. Fixed speed cameras will be positioned in genuine accident black spots. The safety criteria for siting each camera would be published on a website, along with the revenue (or the number of fines imposed) generated from that camera each year.
- Speed limits to be changed-limits near schools, parks etc to be reduced, perhaps at certain times of day only with flashing warning signs. (e.g. 20 mph outside all schools). These speed limits may be variable at times when the school is not in use.
- Move to variable penalty points. Points would range from 1 point to 6 points. Standard fine to remain. Bans for excessive speeds would remain.
- Extend driver education programmes for those caught speeding. Any offender with less than six points will have one opportunity to take a driver awareness course, paid for by the cost of the fine, rather than have points on their licence.
- Revenue generated from cameras to be spent on road safety, including alternatives to cameras, such as flashing electronic displays. Communities would be encouraged to bid for money for placing such displays where residents want them.
- More active traffic policing – we want intelligent policing and intelligent drivers.
- Abolish camera partnerships – including the ‘Staffordshire Safety Camera Partnership’ – as an unnecessary tier of bureaucracy. Police to be responsible for enforcement.
- Every speed camera to have the speed limit sign clearly displayed on the camera, as well as on each speed camera warning sign.
- Change planning laws which prohibit the use of 30mph repeater signs, to allow clearer indication of speed limits on all roads.
Michael Fabricant says: "I would be interested to know what local Staffordshire residents think of these proposals and I will let Damian know their views.
"I would also like to see a review of speed limits on Staffordshire roads. I know of several rural stretches where the speed limit changes every few miles which is distracting if not plain dangerous."