MPs to call for more traffic police – and cameras
31 October 2006

MPs will today suggest that Britain needs more traffic police - but that doesn't mean a reduction in the number of speed cameras.

A report by the Transport Select Committee says that between 1999 and 2004 the number of operational traffic officers fell by 21 per cent. As a result, fewer breath tests were taken and drink-drive casualties have risen.

The report, 'Roads Policing and Technology - Getting the Balance Right', is expected to call for a change in emphasis. Currently, many police forces spend money from fines on more cameras, rather than on more traffic officers.

Committee chairman Gwyneth Dunwoody MP said "You can't assume that a camera is going to replace somebody who can assess when a driver has been drinking or has been taking drugs that make them unable to drive."

However, despite the call for more traffic officers, the report is not likely to suggest a reduction in the number of speed cameras. In fact, it is likely to suggest that the current laws on the positioning of cameras be relaxed to allow more cameras. At the moment, speed cameras can only be placed on a road where there is a record of accidents resulting in serious injuries or death.

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