Essex police cop out on speeding fines

Road safety groups are calling for action after figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that 5,070 speeding tickets were triggered by marked police cars and 199 by unmarked vehicles in Essex from January to June. But, because most of these were officers on emergency calls, the tickets were cancelled.

Essex Police were reported by the Mirror as stating: "Any officer who activates a safety camera does so for entirely legitimate purposes."

Simon Wilson, of RoadPeace, said: "It sounds amazing that there were 5,000 cases of speeding and not one of them infringed the rules. The law needs to apply to everybody and especially when it comes to speed cameras which are always controversial. Speed traps attract enough criticism as it is - this sort of thing just makes people even more cynical."

Other police forces do impose speeding fines on their own staff: In neighbouring Suffolk 40 officers on duty were caught speeding between April 2004 and March this year. Thirteen got fixed penalty tickets. In Bedfordshire, police vehicles were caught speeding on speed cameras 2,519 times. Six officers and two civilian staff were fined £60 and had their licences endorsed.

Over 85,000 fixed penalty notices were issued by the 96 speed cameras in Essex last year netting £5 million in fines.

Police, cameras, no action: Cops break limit 5,000 times but no one's nicked (The Mirror, 8 December 2005)