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Half of speed cameras don’t work at any one time

Which? reveals the truth about speed cameras

Speed camera warning sign

53% of speed cameras in England and Wales don’t work at any one time

More than half the fixed speed cameras in England and Wales don’t work at any one time, according to a new investigation conducted by Which?.

The investigation, in the February issue of Which? magazine, found that 53% of fixed cameras in England and Wales are not in operation at any one time.

However, this is not a repeat of the mass turn-off heavily reported last summer, when Oxfordshire stopped using all its cameras due to budget cuts. It is evidence of the different outlooks on the use of gatsos by different local authorities.

Read our advice on dealing with speeding tickets

Speed camera operation

Fixed speed camera

Some regions have no speed cameras at all

Our investigation found big differences in the number of speed cameras used by each of the 43 police authorities in England and Wales.

Sussex has 60 fixed speed cameras, and all of them are operational, while Lancashire, which has 287 fixed cameras, uses just 10% at any one time.

And four regions have no fixed speed cameras at all: Cleveland, Durham, North Yorkshire and Wiltshire.

All this means the chances of being caught speeding are dramatically different depending on the area.

Our investigation follows last month’s revelation that speed camera information could be made available to the general public.

Read our opinion on whether speed cameras should be switched off

Public opinion on speed cameras

Part of our investigation also included a survey of motorists’ opinions on the use speed cameras.

A vast majority of people (83%) said fixed speed cameras only stop people speeding at specific locations, and don’t change behaviour generally.

However, this conflicts with the RAC’s estimation that 800 more people would be killed or seriously injured on UK roads if all speed cameras were switched off.

The full investigation results are available in the February edition of Which?.

Let us know your opinion on our investigation at Which? Conversation

Get more from Which? Car

Get more from Which? Car

Magazine: Which? Car magazine is the UK’s only independent car guide (we don’t take ads, so our reviews are totally impartial). The Winter 2011 issue is the first of the new look Which? Car, packed with more new and used car reviews than ever before. We’ve dedicated more pages to in-depth reviews of all the major cars on sale today, helping you to make the most educated decision about buying a new or used car. It’s on sale now, priced at £4.99, available from Sainsbury’s, Tesco, WH Smith, Martin McColl and good independent newsagents.

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