DRIVERS face being caught by speed cameras on more stretches of Scotland’s roads than ever because dozens of new enforcement locations have been added, The Scotsman has learned.
More than 30 extra sections of road are being patrolled by mobile camera vans because of concern over speeding and crashes.
These are in addition to some 22 sets of new cameras installed last year as part of the A9 average speed camera system between Dunblane and Inverness.
Those cameras have replaced a smaller number of fixed and mobile camera sites.
Figures compiled by The Scotsman show cameras can now operate in 93 new locations added over the last three years, with 59 removed. They number among hundreds of fixed and mobile camera sites.
The information was provided by the eight Scottish safety camera partnerships – groups that include the emergency services and local authorities which run speed and red light cameras.
The biggest increase in additional sites has been in Tayside, where some 30 locations have been added and four removed, apart from those scrapped to make way for the A9 cameras.
The new ones have included 11 locations on the A94 between Perth and Forfar and six on the A90 between Perth and Dundee.
Tayside partnership manager Arron Duncan said: “The increased numbers of enforcement locations have been introduced to keep people safe where it was considered additional road safety benefits could be derived through greater safety camera visibility and awareness.”
Across the Highlands, 60 locations have been added, including 19 on the A87 between Invergarry and Uig on Skye, and 40 taken away.
Dougie Bennion, manager of the Northern partnership, which covers the region, said: “There has been a net increase of deployment locations. The selection process is based on detailed analysis of collision data, speed compliance, consultation with partners and where communities have highlighted concerns.” Elsewhere, four locations have been removed in Strathclyde, and five in Fife with one added, while Central has added one and removed two.
One location has been added and one removed in Lothian and Borders, with no changes in Dumfries and Galloway or the north-east. Fines from drivers caught by cameras go to the UK Government.
Neil Greig, the Scotland-based policy and research director of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: “The issue with installing new cameras and removing or changing existing ones is that drivers need to know why it is happening in a clear and transparent way.
“If a new location is needed because of an accident problem, then that should also be made clear so the majority of law-abiding drivers can exercise greater care at the problem site.”
Chief Superintendent Iain Murray, head of road policing for Police Scotland, said: “Speed cameras have been proven to reduce injuries and road deaths where they are placed. There is a requirement to review all sites on a rolling, three-year programme to ensure the use of cameras is still appropriate.”
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government’s Transport Scotland agency said: “Cameras are widely recognised as an effective means of reducing accidents.
“The safety camera programme aims to reduce the number of casualties on Scotland’s roads and encourage a culture of speed limit and red traffic signal compliance by providing a visible and effective deterrent. Contrary to popular belief, safety cameras are not income generators and all fines are returned to the UK Treasury, not the Scottish Government.”
The agency said changes in enforcement locations did not mean there had been an increase in enforcement activity.