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Police found using mobile speed cameras for non-speeding offences

Investigation finds 20 police forces use mobile speed cameras to catch drivers using phones and not wearing seatbelts

Penalty points, police, speeding

Police forces across England and Wales are using mobile cameras to target drivers not wearing seatbelts and using mobile phones, in addition to catching speeding motorists.

A series of Freedom of Information requests made to the UK’s 44 police forces found 16 of them regularly target seatbelt and mobile phone offences, with a further four doing so “occasionally”.

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Drivers 1mph over limit should be punished for speeding, says police chief

Over 8,000 drivers were caught for not wearing a seatbelt by the 16 forces regularly using mobile cameras to target non-speeding offences, with a further 1,000 motorists caught using a mobile phone behind the wheel.

The research, carried out by road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, found forces from Kent, North Yorkshire, North and South Wales, Hampshire, Suffolk and the West Midlands among those operating in this manner.

Of the forces not using speed cameras for non-speeding offences, some expressed reservations about image quality from the cameras, and whether Home Office type approval was sufficient for successful prosecutions.

Sarah Sillars, chief executive of IAM RoadSmart, said: “Drivers should be reassured that the police are using all the tools in their road safety toolkit to address their top worries. If drivers don’t know about this added enforcement technique then its impact will be reduced so the police should have no hesitation in publicising its use.”

Addressing police forces’ inconsistent approaches to policing non-speeding offences with speed cameras, Sillars added: “What we need are clear and consistent guidelines on what the cameras are being used for, what training staff are being given and how the images are being used as evidence.”

Police forces using speed cameras for non-speeding offences:

Cumbria (occasionally)DerbyshireDyfed PowysGloucestershire (occasionally)Greater Manchester (occasionally)HampshireHumbersideKentLancashireLincolnshireNorfolkNorth WalesNorth YorkshireNorthamptonshireNorthumbriaSouth WalesStaffordshireSuffolkSurrey (occasionally)West Midlands

Are the police becoming too reliant on cameras? Research suggests a lack of traffic officers means careless driving is going unpunished

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