Speed cameras across Derbyshire have raked in more than £2m over the last five years, it has been revealed.
Between 2008 and 2013, motorists were fined out a total of £2,272,200 after being caught speeding on the county’s roads.
Road safety groups have stressed the importance of speed cameras – but critics branded the controversial devices a “cash cow”.
The cameras are operated by Derbyshire road safety partnership, which is made up of a number of agencies including Derbyshire County Council and Derbyshire police. Any revenue from speed cameras goes to central Government coffers.
A spokesman for the partnership said: “Reducing road deaths and injuries is our top priority.
“Safety cameras have been in operation across the county since 1994. Since then the number of people killed or seriously injured has dropped by 40 per cent on routes where cameras are in use.”
However, Joanthan Isaby, political director of campaign group the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Large numbers of drivers feel unfairly targeted by speed cameras which are far too often a means of using already hard-pressed motorists as a cash cow.
“The authorities should concentrate on genuinely making the roads safer, rather than merely setting up cameras with the aim of raking in as much cash as possible.”
The road safety partnership currently has a total of 12 wet film cameras, which are rotated between 113 yellow roadside boxes across the county based on accident figures. Last month, council bosses agreed to invest in ten digital cameras and upgrade 70 of the county’s boxes so they are capable of housing the new hi-tech devices – at a cost of £1m.
The road safety partnership spokesman said: “We’ve decided to make the switch because we hope it will allow us to make savings in the long term.
“As more areas make the switch, it’s going to get harder and more expensive to get replacement parts and servicing for those with film-based systems.”
The spokesman added: “The digital system means that staff who view the photo evidence to decide whether or not a penalty notice should be issued will be able to download images from a camera while still in their office instead of travelling to the site to collect film.