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Speed demons

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07/04/2006

Speed cameras cost the nation’s motorists £150 million every year, says Christina Jordan

The recent rise in the number of speed cameras is costing the nation’s motorists over £150 million each year in fines and increased motor insurance premiums, according to research by swiftcover.com, the UK’s only 100% online motor insurer.

The report reveals that over 2.2 million speeding convictions are handed out each year (the equivalent of 1 in 10 of the nation’s motorists getting a conviction). Of these convictions — 4 out of 5 have a clean licence when they get caught. Plus the number of convictions has more than trebled (328%) in 10 years — driven by the increase in cameras — from 519,000 in 1993. Over the same time frame, traffic increased by 17%.

The revenue generated from the fines exceeds £114 million each year. But the cost to the driver is not just the cost of the fine itself. The conviction leads to an endorsement on your driving licence and the threat of increased insurance premiums. The additional cost of insurance for those caught by speed cameras is £36 million — meaning speed cameras cost the nation’s drivers £150 million each year.

Andrew Blowers, chief executive at swiftcover.com commented: “The plague of speed cameras on the nation’s roads hits the motorist hard in the pocket. Getting flashed by a camera is of course a double whammy for many, as not only are they hit with the fine, but the conviction can lead to an increase in insurance premiums.”

It is not just the cost to the motorist that the report reveals; it also identifies how speed cameras have led to more erratic driving, such as ‘yo-yo’ driving, with almost 6 out of 10 (58%) of the nation’s motorists admitting to speeding up to above the speed limit after passing a camera and then slamming the brakes on when they see the next one.

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