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Reduced Kingsway speed limit sees spike in number of speeding fines

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Police chiefs have again been forced to reject profiteering claims after it emerged the new 40mph sections of the Kingsway had contributed to a massive increase in speeding fines.

The number of fixed penalty fines dished out for exceeding the speed limit within city limits leapt by almost a third during the past twelve months.

That saw Police Scotland rake in more than £322,000 from 3,220 conditional offers, compared to just £245,000 in the year 2014/15.

There are currently 11 camera sites within the Dundee City Council area and the force vastly increased the amount of time it spent monitoring motorists from those sites.

Camera vans were deployed for an additional 190 hours during 2015/16, up from 796 hours in during the previous year to 986 hours.

North Safety Camera Unit Manager Arron Duncan said that despite the sums being made for Police Scotland, a “good day” would be “catching no-one speeding”.

Asked by councillors to explain how camera sites are selected, he said they were dedicated to sites based on the speed of motorists and the number of accidents.

He denied units were deployed in an effort “to catch people speeding” or to make money.

He said: “We are not there to catch people speeding. We are there at these sites to deter people from speeding.

“A good day for us would be catching no-one speeding, but unfortunately that rarely happens.

“We are there to reduce speeds and reduce casualties and prevent people from being hurt.”

He said it was clear that there had been a marked deterioration in driver behaviour on trunk roads within the city and an improvement in that on local authority roads.

Mr Duncan did admit, however, that the figures had been skewed by new limits, such as that on the Kingsway.

North Safety Camera Unit Manager Arron Duncan is adamant that camera sites are chosen to reduce speeds and accidents and not as a revenue generator.
North Safety Camera Unit Manager Arron Duncan is adamant that camera sites are chosen to reduce speeds and accidents and not as a revenue generator.

In February, the rocketing speeding detection rates on the new lower speed sections of the Kingsway sparked allegations of profiteering.

Hundreds of motorists were swiftly caught out after limits on some stretches were dropped from 50mph to 40mph.

Pressure group Safe Speed claimed the road speed had been reduced so police could “nick more motorists”.

The North Safety Camera Unit is currently undertaking a new survey of potential camera sites within the city boundaries, assessing them in regards to speed and number of accidents and casualties.

Most of the current sites were chosen in 2003 and with new criteria for site selection introduced in May 2015, they are being reviewed.

West End councillor Fraser Macpherson said he recognised the good work being done, but said it was important that elected members know details of the review as soon as possible.

Mr Duncan said it would be possible for councillors, on behalf of their communities, to influence the updated list of sites.

Nonetheless, he added: “We are a finite resource and we have to deploy to the sites of most need.

“We try as much as possible to give fair cover and if any councillor feels there are issues in their area and it meets the criteria then we will look at it, but we must prioritise where there is a higher speed and accident profile.”

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