HC Deb 11 February 2004 vol 417 cc1513-4W
Bob Spink

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many motorists were banned from driving for a period as a result of being caught by(a) speed and (b) red light cameras in (i) 1997, (ii) 2000 and (iii) 2002. [153668]

Caroline Flint

Information for England and Wales for the years 1997 and 2000 is given in the table. 2002 data will be available in the spring.

Driving licence disqualifications1 imposed at all courts for offences detected by camera, England and Wales, 1997 and 2000
1997 2000
Speed offences2 675 1,417
Traffic light offences3 33 39
1 Excludes persons disqualified under section 35 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (penalty points system).
2 Offences under the Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 and The Motor Vehicles (Speed Limits on Motorways) Regulations 1973.
3 Offences under the Road Traffic Act 1988 and The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 1984.

Mr. Grieve

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what differences there are in the calibration of speed cameras between police authority areas; and whether all authorities apply a 10 per cent. and 2 mph allowance over the speed limit before a fixed penalty or prosecution is initiated. [154474]

Caroline Flint

All cameras are required to detect and record the speed of passing vehicles within specified degrees of accuracy. Until July 2003 the standard was a positive error of no more than 3mph up to 100mph, and 3 per cent. above 100mph. The negative error was not greater than 5mph or 10 per cent. above 50mph. From July 2003, in line with European standards, new speed cameras will be required to be accurate to ± 2mph up to 66mph and ± 3 per cent. above 66mph. This has not yet been implemented for existing cameras, but we consider that all cameras are in fact already accurate to this level.

The enforcement of speed limits on the basis of information provided by the cameras is an operational matter for chief officers of police. The Association of Chief Police Officers has published guidelines on speed enforcement thresholds to support a transparent and consistent approach, while recognising that not all speeding offences are the same. The police retain discretion to take account of the particular circumstances of any particular speeding incident.

All police forces follow the guidelines, which are publicly available on the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) website (www.acpo.police.uk)