Drivers caught by speed cameras in South Holland may have paid out at least £5.7million in fines over the last 15 years, Spalding Today can reveal.
Based on the results of a Freedom of Information (FoI) request made by the Free Press, along with the current minimum financial penalty for speeding of £100, speed cameras in eight South Holland locations could have accumulated total fines of £5,745,600.
The results of the FoI request to Lincolnshire Police showed that nearly 57,500 drivers had been caught speeding by cameras, including ones of the A16 on Crowland, A17 in Long Sutton and A151 High Road in Whaplode, between May 2003 and January 2018.
During the same period, 18,155 drivers were caught by the speed camera on High Road, the most prolific in terms of penalties in South Holland.
The next most successful ”speed trap” in the area was Barrier Bank, Cowbit, which caught nearly 13,200 drivers between May 2003 and January 2018, followed by Holbeach Road, Spalding, where nearly 10,000 drivers broke the 30mph speed limit there.
Speaking at a public meeting on speeding and road safety in Cowbit last Monday, Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones said: “Speeding is a really important issue in Lincolnshire where we have 507 parishes.
“I’ve not been to one parish where speeding hasn’t been a hot topic and if everybody agreed not to speed in everybody else’s village, the problem would go away.
“As a society, we need to get to the point where it’s socially unacceptable to speed in the same way that most of us wear seat belts or don’t drink and drive.
“But there’s still a percentage of people who speed through our villages, then go on speed courses or get points on their licences, and they aren’t ashamed about it.
“Agencies like Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership will never have enough money to eradicate this problem without people being part of the solution.”
As a society, we need to get to the point where it’s socially unacceptable to speed in the same way that most of us wear seat belts or don’t drink and driveMarc Jones, Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner
Across the wider Free Press news area, including Bourne, the Deepings and villages south of Boston, nearly 113,400 drivers were caught by speed cameras between May 2003 and January 2018.
Based on the minimum £100 fine figures, this could have brought in £11.4million to the Government.
John Siddle, of Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership, said: “In 2017, there were just over 50,000 speeding offences committed in Lincolnshire, with just under 15,000 people choosing to attend a National Speed Awareness Course as an alternative to prosecution.
“Some of those will have committed offences in other counties and, in turn, some of those captured will have chosen to attend a National Speed Awareness Course elsewhere.
“Money from course fees in Lincolnshire is used for road safety in Lincolnshire, some of which includes School Crossing Patrols, education in schools, anti-drink driving and mobile phone use campaigns, interventions with vulnerable groups, general running costs and camera operations.
“However, those who choose to be prosecuted speeding offence, or who are above the threshold speed to be offered a course, will pay their fine direct to the Treasury.”
Based on Mr Siddle’s figures, with the cost of a National Speed Awareness Course currently at £90, approximately £135,000 worth of fines could be paid into Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership coffers, with up to 15,000 drivers taking courses.
Ian Swallow, enforcement delivery manager for Lincolnshire and the man in charge of the county’s speed cameras, told Cowbit villagers last Monday: “The criteria we follow for speed cameras is one set by the Department for Transport in 2010.
“This tells us to put up speed cameras in locations to reduce collisions and so, from a Lincolnshire perspective, it’s all casualty reduction-based.
“As much as I would want to put speed cameras up everywhere, they aren’t a cash cow or about keeping MPs happy but to keep collisions down.”