Plans to publish speed camera data
Drivers will be able to find out which speed cameras catch the most motorists under new plans outlined by the Government.
Local authorities and the police will have to publish full information about speed cameras under proposals announced by Road Safety Minister Mike Penning.
This could include data about accident rates at camera sites, vehicle speeds and the numbers of motorists prosecuted or offered training after offences recorded by cameras. It will be available by April 2011.
Mr Penning said: "Public bodies should be accountable and if taxpayers' money is being spent on speed cameras then it is right that information about their effectiveness is available to the public.
"The proposals I have announced today will help show what impact cameras are having on accident and casualty rates and also how the police are dealing with offenders. This is in line with our commitment to improve transparency of government data so that the public are able to make more informed judgements about the work of local and central government."
The Department for Transport will be working with police and local authority representatives as well as the Highways Agency to discuss the details of what should be published and how.
It is thought that one camera on the M11 near east London has produced fines of more than £2 million over five years and that other camera sites have also resulted in fines of many thousands of pounds a year.
The AA's head of road safety, Andrew Howard, told the Daily Telegraph: "We have always supported transparency as a way of making cameras publicly acceptable."
Neil Greig, director of policy and research at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: "We welcome any move to improve the transparency of speed camera operations. More transparent information that clearly links speed cameras to fewer deaths and serious injuries will be an excellent way of persuading the doubters that they do deliver."
Philip Gomm, a spokesman for the RAC Foundation, said: "Road safety policy should be based on facts and analysis, not rumour and headlines. Where cameras are doing a good job then they should be kept. If others are badly sited or can be proved to be about raising money then they should be turned off. What we don't want is a knee-jerk, blanket policy of decommissioning just because someone thinks it is a good idea without the evidence to support the move."