'Startling' statistics prompt speed camera criticism from traffic lawyer Mr Loophole

NEW FIGURES have highlighted the increasing gulf between motorists caught speeding by cameras and those caught by uniformed traffic officers.

Nick Freeman, also known as Mr Loophole, has criticised the reliance on speed cameras to police the roads.

They reveal that just 702 speeding motorists in South Yorkshire were caught by officers in 2015 compared to 56,770 caught by speed cameras.

The drivers caught by officers equated to just 1.22 per cent of all speeding drivers caught that year – down 2,049 since 2011 when officers caught 4.47 per cent of speeding drivers.

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It represents a 74 per cent drop in the number of speeding drivers caught by officers in the force area in 2015 compared to 2011.

The figures came to light today following a Freedom of Information request by traffic lawyer Nick Freeman, who is better known as Mr Loophole.

Mr Freeman said the cameras were “cash tills designed to fill dwindling coffers” and could not detect offences such as drink or drug driving, dangerous driving or illegally using a mobile phone.

Mr Freeman said: “For a long time I have openly criticised the increasing reliance on speed cameras to robotically police the nation’s roads.

“While it’s abundantly clear that they are highly efficient at detecting drivers going over the speed limit, they are utterly blind to a whole multitude of other sins which are often far more serious than the speeding offences they are designed to detect.

“Uniformed officers on the roads are also a huge deterrent and better equipped to enforce the law than any camera system. What these startling statistics show is that detection by police presence is being gradually phased out.”

South Yorkshire Police, which was one of six forces to supply statistics, had the lowest total number of speeding motorists caught by officers in 2015.

There were a total 273, 527 drivers caught speeding in the six force areas during 2015.

Of those drivers, 11,892 – the equivalent of 4.35 per cent – were caught speeding by uniformed traffic officers.