Scotland’s most prolific speed camera has been responsible for more than £230,000 in fines already this year but police have refused to say where it is.
Figures revealed under freedom of information yesterday show that one single fixed roadside camera snared 2,368 drivers in the first ten months of this year – three times more than the second busiest site.
The statistics also revealed that 46 cameras failed to catch a single speeding driver last year and one had not recorded a speed violation in four years.
But police have declined to reveal where the cameras are sited, claiming “disclosure would or would be likely to endanger the physical health or safety of an individual” and could encourage drivers “to take risks with impunity”.
Police Scotland added that disclosing their locations could lead to vandals putting prolific cameras out of action.
Campaigners said public confidence in the camera scheme is “vital”.
In total, 10,528 speeding fines have been handed out from fixed roadside cameras so far this year. On top of that, 17,567 drivers were given fixed penalty fines from mobile camera vans between 1 January and 19 September this year.
The minimum fine for speeding is £100 – as well as at least three points on your driving licence – meaning at least £2,809,500 has been raked in this year so far in fines.
The Tayside safety camera partnership area has seen the most fines so far this year with 6,433 dished out – 39 more than Lothian and Borders, which has issued 6,394.
Both the Central Scotland and Strathclyde camera partnership areas have seen drastic falls in the number of offences detected this year.
Central Scotland issued 5,345 tickets last year – but has only fined 991 drivers in the year to 14 October. Meanwhile, Strathclyde fined 2,492 drivers in 2014, but only 490 so far this year.
Neil Greig, director of policy and research for the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), said: “For the IAM the best speed cameras catch very few drivers but deter the majority.
“When one location is catching so many drivers it does need to reviewed to check if the signposting is clear.
“Public confidence that cameras are in the right places is vital to back up Police Scotland’s enforcement effort.”
Explaining their decision not to reveal the locations of fixed speed cameras Police Scotland said: “The purpose of safety cameras in Scotland is to provide a highly visible deterrent to drivers who may otherwise be inclined to speed at locations with a history of personal injury crashes, together with evidence of speeding, and thereby reduce the number of people injured because of these actions.
“All safety cameras sites are published, have warning signage in place on the road and all enforcement equipment has high visibility marking to make drivers aware of the presence of the cameras.
“For effective deterrence, drivers must believe that speeding in the vicinity of these cameras will always be detected and recorded by the equipment, leading to fines and penalty points.
“The number of offences recorded at fixed speed cameras location in Scotland I contend should be withheld, and will be subject of the exemptions engaged further in this response. It is the case in practice that not all fixed camera sites will be live at any one time.”
“Some camera systems are based on a lesser number of actual cameras being deployed across a much larger number of camera housings on a rotational basis.”