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Nearly HALF of all speed cameras in England and Wales are INACTIVE: How does your region fair?

Updated: Oct 12, 2023



Startling figures recently obtained through a freedom of information (FOI) request by Road Angel have shed light on the inactive state of speed cameras across England and Wales. The data shows that approximately 46% of fixed speed cameras across the two regions are currently not in operation, raising concerns about the enforcement of speed limits and road safety in some areas.


The FOI request revealed shocking results, indicating that thousands of motorists who exceed speed limits may evade penalties due to inactive cameras. Of the eight fixed speed cameras in Northamptonshire, none were found to be operational. Meanwhile, Gwent, located in southeast Wales, had only one active speed camera out of the 31 installed.

Further analysis of the FOI request showed that six out of thirteen police forces had more than half of their speed cameras standing inactive. Derbyshire emerged as the region with the highest number of out-of-action speed cameras, with 93 out of 113 rendered unusable, leaving only 20 capable of catching speeding motorists. Essex and Devon & Cornwall also face similar issues, with at least 40% of their speed cameras deemed ineffective.

Only two areas, namely Dyfed-Powys in Wales and Suffolk, reported all their speed cameras to be in working order. However, both regions have a limited number of devices, with just four each. The West Midlands showcased commendable performance, with only 5% of their speed cameras standing inactive out of a total of 65 devices in operation.

Leicestershire and Cambridgeshire were among the regions struggling with a high number of inactive speed cameras. Leicestershire, with a total of 18 fixed speed camera sites, had only four functioning devices, rendering 78% of the cameras inactive. Cambridgeshire reported 17 out of 46 speed cameras within the region as inactive. Neighbouring Bedfordshire, however, fared better, with only 8% of their devices out of operation.

Road safety experts now urgently call upon UK police forces, councils, and the Government to ensure the full functionality of speed cameras. Exceeding speed limits or driving too fast has been identified as a contributing factor in 25% of collision fatalities throughout the country. Experts argue that operational speed cameras play a crucial role in penalising those who violate speed limits, encouraging motorists to adhere to safe driving practices, and ultimately making roads safer for everyone.

Gary Digva, Founder of road safety experts Road Angel, said: “It’s shocking to see how many speed cameras across the country are standing inactive and are letting speeding motorists get away with driving dangerously.

“In total with all of the police forces who responded to our Freedom of Information request, there are 1069 fixed speed cameras across the country. Out of this, there are 496 inactive speed cameras.

“This means that almost half of speed cameras on our roads are out of operation (46%).

“We are urging local authorities and police forces to ensure speed cameras are fully working to catch speeding motorists who may be driving recklessly by breaking the limit.

“This in turn will help to reduce the number of dangerous drivers and help to keep our roads safer for everyone.

Table credit: Road Angel

“As it stands, speeding on the road is a contributing factor for 25% of fatalities - and motorists who break the legal limit need to be penalised so they further recognize the importance of sticking to the speed limits.

“However, with such high numbers of inactive devices, thousands of drivers are getting away with speeding every day.

“The UK police force, councils and the government must take action on making sure these fixed speed cameras are fully operational.”

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