Police have admitted that one in four speed cameras in the North East aren’t turned on.
Northumbria Police has revealed that 10 static cameras dotted around its patch aren’t currently working.
Enforcement agencies have been too strict with minor offenders in order to raise revenue, and not tough enough with those who really pose a danger on the roads.Roger Reynolds, ex-traffic cop
The number of motorists caught by mobile speed guns fell by 37 per cent last year, it also admitted.
The police officer who introduced the cameras to the UK claims they are being used as a cash cow now, and figures show that they netted an estimated £2.8million in fines for the force last year.
“Speed cameras have not always proven an effective method of tackling speeding offences,” said Roger Reynolds, a former Metropolitan Police traffic division sergeant responsible for introducing speed guns 23 years ago.
“Enforcement agencies have been too strict with minor offenders in order to raise revenue, and not tough enough with those who really pose a danger on the roads.”
Figures disclosed through the 2000 Freedom of Information Act show that, on average, a driver is caught speeding every eight minutes in the North East, each usually facing a £60 fine.
In total, 66,535 drivers were snared in 2014 throughout the region, although that figure was down on the previous 12 months.
In total, there are 44 cameras, including those not switched on, dotted around Northumberland and Tyne and Wear.
In comparison, Durham Constabulary uses just one, although it clocked up fines in excess of £400,000 last year.
The mobile Ultralyte 1000, also used by Northumbria Police, clocked more than 7,000 speeding drivers last year, netting about £423,000.
Cleveland Police doesn’t use cameras.
Northumbria Police’s statistics mirror national figures of one in four cameras being turned off.
Gemma Stanbury, head of motoring at website Confused.com, the company that carried out the research, said: “People should be keeping to speed limits regardless of whether cameras are there or not.
“A speeding fine can have repercussions.”