The review was instigated as a result of claims by motorists that the cameras were being used primarily to make money rather than reduce speeding and increase safety.
There are 4,500 fixed and 1,000 mobile cameras in Britain, although only about 1,000 operate at any time. That total could rise to 6,000 by spring next year, according to Ian Bell, safety camera partnership co-ordinator for the Association of Chief Police Officers. Police chiefs, acknowledging expected anger at any increase in camera numbers, will today call for more offenders to be offered 'speed awareness' courses instead of points on their licence and fines.
The Department of Transport launched a review of where cameras were sited at Christmas after an outbreak of sabotage. Almost all the 35 partnerships (consisting of police, local authorities and magistrates' courts) which operate the cameras in England have now submitted detials and it is understood all, or virtually all, sites meet the rules. Transport minister David Jamieson said cameras would be removed if they did not meet the criteria that their site had an accident record linked to speeding and that they must be conspicuous.
Cameras raised£7m for the Treasury last year and are forecast to generate up to£20m this year.