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Hampshire's £1.3m speed camera defended
THE controversial Hampshire speed camera that has raked in more than £1.3m over the past three years has been defended as the best way to improve road safety.
Figures from Hampshire Constabulary reveal a total of 21,792 drivers were flashed by the camera over the past three years, resulting in a fine of at least £60 each.
The camera is on the A3024 Maybray King Way, which has a speed limit of 30mph.
It caught a total of 3,234 drivers during the year 2010/2011. But that figure more than doubled for the year 2011/2012 to 7,573.
Year 2012/ 2013 saw a similar increase with a total of 10,985 being snapped.
The figures confirmit is one of the highest-grossing speed cameras across the country.
Southampton Itchen MP John Denham said: “It is a very unpopular speed camera but the truth is there was a lot more accidents going down towards Lances Hill than there are today.
“It does seem to be effective in reducing the number of accidents.
“Over the years I have been asked several times whether it could be repositioned so that drivers get more notice of it.
The advice from the police has been that this is the best position to reduce speed.
“The problem with the design of the road is that it’s a natural human reaction to think when you drive down a sloping dual carriageway it’s going to be faster than 30mph but that’s the reason why we need speed to be controlled.”
Paul Watters, head of public affairs at the AA, said it was “worrying” so many drivers have been caught out.
He said: “It’s not good if it keeps going on at that rate.
“Our members generally accept the use of cameras but it does seem off this has come in the top three. Is it a lack of understanding of the speed limit? Is it a question of signage or of alignment?”
Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, added: “It’s incredible that just a tiny number of cameras are raking in so much cash at motorists’ expense.
“Drivers have long suspected that speed cameras are more about raising money than keeping roads safe.
“The authorities should focus on measures that improve the safety of the roads, not simply look to maximise the amount brought in from fines.”
Hampshire Constabulary said the cash generated by speed cameras is reinvested in the county’s road policing schemes but dismissed claims it is a tax on motorists.
A spokesman said: “It funds the safer roads unit, which works on the issues to do with safety cameras, including the criminal justice part of it, such as paperwork and fines.
“It funds the team and the courses that give the important driver awareness training.
“People will opt to pay the fine but others will pay to take a driver awareness course.”
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