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Careless driving penalties plummeted with speed camera rollout

Published: 24 September 2010

Updated: 19 November 2014

The number of motorists caught driving carelessly plummeted as speed camera use exploded, a report released by the Government has revealed.

Penalty points issued to speeders rose by 88% between 1997 and 2007 alongside a dramatic rise in camera numbers, but points for careless driving fell 53% in the same period. 

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said: “Speed cameras may appear an easy option but these reports show that if we really want to improve road safety we need to tackle all forms of reckless behaviour.”

Ministers are concerned there may not be enough emphasis on police patrols to catch careless drivers who cause more danger than those who break the limit by a few miles per hour, according to the Daily Mail.

According to latest government figures, 15% of accidents have motorists being ‘careless, reckless or in a hurry’ as a contributory factor, while breaking the speed limit contributes to just 5%. The biggest cause is failure to look properly, which contributes to 38% of accidents, followed by ‘failed to judge other person’s path/speed’ at 20%.

A second report released by the Department for Transport yesterday concluded those convicted of speeding went on to behave ‘much as before’.

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