Speed Cameras - Follow the money
In 1997, when Labour came to power, there were 712,753 speeding tickets issued as a result of motorists being caught by camera and police patrols.
By 2006, according to figures released by the Home Office in a Commons written reply, this had soared to 1,773,412.
With the cost of a Fixed Penalty Notice having risen from £40 to £60 in 2000, this has meant that the cash raised increased from ?£28.5 million to £106.4 million.
This figure would have continued rising further had the Government not reformed the policing of speeding in April last year, scrapping the arrangements under which safety camera partnerships kept all the cash.
Since then all fines are paid to the Treasury with the cash then being distributed to partnerships as grants for a variety of road safety initiatives and not just cameras.
As a result, according to the Department for Transport's latest figures, speed camera fines fell from £114.6 million in 2005-6 to £104.4 million in 2006-7.
Surprising? Incentives matter, stop letting the locals keep all the money and they stop chasing the motorists so hard! But if they sens the erring motorist on a Speed Awareness course instead of fining him then they get to keep the money - As I have blogged before the operation of the Wiltshire Safety Camera Partnership Workshop for instance is all tied up with funding and bickering over who gets the money...