More drivers in Tayside and Fife got away with speeding last year.
The number of speeding offences went down during 2019/20 — 10,721 compared to 17,144 in 2018/19 — but a lower percentage of caught drivers were issued with a penalty notice or had their cases referred to court.
A freedom of information request has revealed 77% of offences in Tayside and Fife resulted in a penalty or court referral in 2017/18. In 2018/19, that figure dipped slightly to 73%.
However, the latest available data for 2019/20 suggests the percentage of speeders facing a fine or court dropped to 58%, or 6,306 individuals.
Crieff road safety campaigner Craig Findlay said more patrols – and tougher penalties – were needed.
He said: “Resources are stretched, but I think officers should be placing their resources at catching speeders where there are more pedestrians, rather than motorways.
“When caught, it is important that a driver faces points and a fine. It sends the wrong message if offences aren’t followed through.
“I would also like to see 20mph be the new norm as opposed to 30.”
Inspector Andy Mather, of Fife Road Policing said speeding or inappropriate speed is a contributory factor in many serious and fatal road traffic collisions.
“We want people to realise the potentially devastating effects that poor driving behaviour, including speeding, can have on themselves, their passengers and other road users,” he said.
“Drivers also need to drive according to the prevailing conditions, adjusting their speed accordingly if the road surface is wet, affected by snow or ice or due to glare from the low sun.
“This may result in a safe speed being considerably lower than the posted limit.”
He said the lower number of vehcicles on the roads as a result of coronavirus restrictions was giving officers an opportunity to raise awareness and educate motorists.
“During the first lockdown, when guidance included working from home and essential travel only, the high rate of compliance by road users in the Fife and Tayside area resulted in the roads being less busy than usual,” he said.
“During this time, officers continued to engage and educate motorists to promote safe driving, including complying with the speed limit. We will continue to work with all road users during this current period of lockdown and this will include enforcement when necessary.”
A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said it was investing in safety cameras and other measures to tackle speeding and antisocial driving.
“In September, we began consulting on an ambitious Road Safety Framework for the next decade,” she said.
“It sets out a compelling long-term vision for road safety, Vision Zero, where there are zero fatalities and injuries on Scotland’s roads by 2050.
“Earlier last year we identified new sites that will benefit from safety camera enforcement. Our investment will improve speed limit compliance, encourage better driver behaviour and reduce the numbers of people killed or seriously injured across the road network.”