Safety cameras or death traps?

A motorway speed camera which has increased the number of crashes and injuries at its site is revealed today as the most profitable in Britain.

It is estimated to catch up to 500 drivers a day, generating nearly £1million a year in fines.

Yet accidents have risen by a quarter and casualties have almost doubled since the Gatso camera was installed on the M11 at its junction with the North Circular A406 near Woodford, Essex.

Police said crashes happened because motorists slowed down ahead of the camera and then speeded up once they were clear of it.

Campaigners demanded the scrapping of the camera and accused the authorities of using the devices to raise cash rather than save lives.

Figures released under Freedom of Information laws show that in the five years before the camera was put up, there were 13 accidents and 14 casualties. In the following five years, the number of accidents rose to 16 and casualties to 24.

Motoring campaigner Paul Pearson said: 'The undisputed fact is that no lives have been saved by this camera.'

The £1m-a-year motorway speed camera that is causing accidents (Daily Mail, 7 January 2009)