Just 1 in 6 speed cameras active in Lothians

A lot of speed cameras don't work. Picture: Andrew Stuart
A lot of speed cameras don't work. Picture: Andrew Stuart
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ONLY one in six roadside cameras across Lothian and Borders actually reacts to speeding drivers at any given time, new figures have revealed.

Of the 67 speed traps operating on roads in the five counties – East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian, Edinburgh and the Borders – it has emerged that just 11 are active and ready to snap drivers.

Road safety campaigners have branded the figures “disappointing” but camera bosses insist the “deterrence effect” remains even if cameras were not always working.

But Margaret Dekker, of the Scottish Campaign Against Irresponsible Drivers, said allowing speeding drivers to “get away with it” would not serve sensible road users well.

And a spokesman for name-and-shame website Edinburgh’s Worst Drivers predicted the news would tempt drivers to take greater risks because of the “low chance of being caught”.

Luke Bosdet, of the Automobile Association, warned that anyone gambling with the odds was “likely to come a cropper”.

The figures compare favourably with the national picture which shows one in five speed cameras around Scotland respond to speeding drivers.

Neil Macgilivray, spokesman for Scotland’s safety camera partnerships, said speed cameras were designed to deter drivers from “risking public safety and breaking the law”.

“Since the first Gatso cameras were introduced in Scotland in the 1990s the policy has been to circulate a number of actual cameras around a greater number of camera sites,” he said.

“Cameras have always been rotated on a regular basis and, as it is not possible for a driver to tell whether or not a camera housing contains a live camera, it must be assumed that the camera housing is actively enforcing against speeding.”

The number of active speed traps is said to have fallen because camera partnerships are being converted from the original film devices to digital technology with several units still being adapted.