The number of drivers fined in court for speeding offences in South Wales has tripled, according to new figures from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).
The South Wales Police force area saw one of the biggest increases in England and Wales with 6,491 motorists fined in 2013, compared to 2,181 three years earlier. The numbers of Dyfed-Powys and Gwent motorists fined by magistrates doubled.
A speed camera in Cardiff generated more than an estimated £800,000 worth of fines in just six months. According to road safety partnership GoSafe Wales, the speed camera on the junction of the city’s Newport Road and Colchester Avenue caught 13,624 speeding motorists and a further 146 running red lights between January and June. The camera was installed in 2012, but only went into fully commissioned operation earlier this year.
From the figures produced by the MoJ more than half of motorists caught speeding elected to undertake the speed awareness course, a course that requires the motorist to pay a fee, attend the course and avoid a Fixed Penalty Notice or a court attendance.
What can be seen from the published figures? The use of speed cameras to detect motorists who exceed the speed limit has increased dramatically over the past 4 years. New digital cameras have been installed at strategic locations and old speed cameras have been re commissioned. A cynic would suggest that the increase in the use of speed cameras is directly correlates with the a desire to increase revenue in the form of the fee paid to attend the speed awareness course, payment of a Fixed Penalty or Court fines and costs.
One thing is for certain, the rise of the speed camera in South Wales increases the prospect of driving licences being endorsed with additional penalty points for motorists who exceed the speed limit.