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Tories say yah-boo-sucks to speed cameras

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In a shameless piece of electioneering, the Tory party has launched a new assault on speed cameras by pledging to scrap all those shown not to reduce accidents - if it wins the next general election.

The party says that the speed traps are merely cash generators, not life-savers, and accuses the government of "waging a war on drivers", The BBC reports.

Shadow transport secretary Damian Green said that the Tories want to make driving less of a misery. He proposes increasing speed limits on motorways in exchange for a reduction in speed limits around schools and hospitals.

"What we are proposing is a series of common sense practical measures which will get the government off the back of the sensible driver and restore confidence in the way we enforce the speed limit," he said.

Green said that the cameras hauled in £15m for the Treasury last year, and claimed even more money went to the 42 "cash-guzzling" safety camera partnerships across England and Wales, organisations set up to manage the cameras, and the collection of fines.

The government, meanwhile, maintains that 80 per cent of people support the use of speed cameras. On Radio 4's Today programme, transport secretary David Jamieson said that a government audit found that 95 per cent of speed cameras saved lives and reduced injuries.

Michael Howard's party said drivers were often confused about what the speed limit was, and promised to post clearer speed signs on stretches where cameras are in place. It also said it would put more traffic police on patrol, emphasizing the policing of unsafe, untaxed or uninsured vehicles and of unlicensed drivers. ®

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