Politics

Britain’s ‘busiest speed camera’ might be faulty despite £5m in fines in 2 years

Britain’s “busiest speed camera” might be faulty despite bringing in an estimated £5 million in fines.

The speed camera sits on Maybray King Way in Southampton, where motorists should be driving at 30mph.

A whopping 51,049 drivers were recorded as over the limit between 2015 and 2017, MailOnline reports.

READ MORE: ‘Daisy’ the cow wanders onto M25 and brings rush hour traffic to a standstill

With the minimum fine for exceeding 30mph in the area at £100, the camera could have brought in more than £5.1 million in fines over those three years.

However, Hampshire Police have now revealed that the camera has been recording “incorrect readings” for vehicles with a “high flat rear.”

Police admit the camera “can give a misread.”

Yet, the camera in question remains in place.

At least two drivers have been able to prove they were wrongly caught by the camera so far.

One was NHS IT worker Nathan Thompson, who said he could lose his job over it.

The father-of-two fought against the fine after a letter said he could be prosecuted for driving at twice his actual speed.

Mr Thompson said: “If I was in a hire car or a work car and from outside the area and I didn’t have proof of going 25mph I’d have had to pay it, so I wonder how many other people have been in a similar situation with that camera, as it’s the most profitable in the country.

“If I didn’t have the evidence that I was going 25mph, then it would have ended up with me going to court.

“I’d have lost my job. That technology shouldn’t go wrong. It has the potential to seriously ruin lives.”

Other motorists have shared their own experiences in hopes they might also be found to have been mistakenly fined.

Harley Golder posted on Facebook that his dashcam showed him driving at 24mph despite being recorded at 49mph by the camera.

The error could have cost him six points on his driving licence.

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He said: “Don’t be afraid to question speeding tickets. The reason I’m being flashed is due to my type of car a Land Rover Defender and the fact that my vehicle is dark – a ridiculous excuse!”

Marc Miller posted on Facebook: “‘I was driving a three wheel van and the camera said 70mph – you couldn’t get it to do 70mph if you pushed it off a cliff.”

Another man, Mark Crosby wrote: “This happened to me, exactly same place said I was doing 88mph in a van going up the hill.

“I was sent the paperwork from the police, a few days later I was sent more paperwork saying the camera had malfunctioned and no further action was to be taken.”

A spokesperson from the AA warned that faulty cameras like this one could undermine public approval of them.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said: “With increased commercial tracking and recording of journeys through onboard telematics, including speeds, road enforcement authorities need to make sure their equipment is accurate all the time.

“If not, and more speeding tickets are successfully challenged, there is a danger that the nearly 80 percent public approval of speed cameras will be undermined.”

Britain's 'busiest speed camera' might be faulty despite £5m in fines in 2 years

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The Alliance of British Drivers called for all drivers caught by the camera to be refunded.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said: “We are aware of an issue with the camera on Maybray King Way, which can lead to incorrect readings with vehicles with a high, flat rear.

“Our Summary Justice Unit has thorough processes in place to ensure that we prevent any incorrect prosecutions occurring.

“There have been two cases in which we have identified this issue and have stopped proceedings.”

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