20 October 2003

British motorists are desensitised to speeding convictions because of the massive growth in the number of speed cameras, an Autocar survey can reveal.

The study, carried out by in conjunction with the RAC Foundation, revealed that one in six drivers now has points on their licence, compared to five years ago when the figure was one in 10.

The findings proved that being caught speeding no longer has a stigma attached – 52% of motorists polled said they were not embarrassed to have points on their licence. Only 16% said they were 'very embarrassed'.

The highest proportion of people with speeding convictions are from the West Country and Wales (25%), while motorists in Scotland are the least likely (6%). The survey also revealed that 18% of drivers know someone in their immediate family who has points for speeding.

There are now 1000 more speed cameras on Britain's roads than there were a year ago, with the total at around 4500. As a result, the number of convictions looks set to break the two million barrier soon. (click here for graph)

However, Autocar and the RAC Foundation today launched the 'Talking sense on speed' campaign, calling for driver education instead of points and fines.

Edmund King, executive director of the RAC Foundation, said: 'Rather than sending out millions of fixed penalty notices, we would like to see motorists given the opportunity to retrain. Surely the objective of cameras should be to educate people to become safer drivers, rather than to fine them.'

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