London, 1 Nov 2003.
For immediate release.

Contact the ABD

Press Release

Daylight Robbery on the M4
A blundering Welsh safety camera partnership has admitted to a "mistake" having sited a speed camera outside the limit that it was supposed to be enforcing.
The camera was placed to catch drivers speeding in a temporary 50 mph limit in roadworks on the M4 outside Newport. Instead it photographed aproximately 2,500 drivers who had left the speed limited zone and were legally and properly increasing their speed to normal motorway speed.
The innocent drivers, who have paid fines totalling aproximately £150,000 to the camera partnership, are now entitled to ask for their fines to be refunded and for the penalty points to be removed from their driving licences. But in a shock announcement, the camera partnership has stated that it has no intention of contacting the drivers to inform them of the mistake. Instead it is "considering appeals" from individual drivers. So far there have been ten of these, and all have had their convictions overturned.
The ABD's Roads and Traffic spokesman, Mark McArthur-Christie said:
"The camera was wrongly sited for over a year and presumably people have been wrongly convicted by it for all that time. It is bad enough that the partnership has not immediately contacted each and and every driver wrongly convicted by this trap, and immediately offered a refund, erasure of points, and compensation.
As the public are becoming increasingly aware, the costs do not stop with the fines. Many of these drivers will have been stigmatised and penalised by having to pay hundreds of pounds in higher insurance premiums. Worse still, some may have been banned and lost their livelihood, all because of a "mistake" over the siting of a speed camera. It is a complete disgrace. No wonder the Camera Partnership is keeping quiet about it. They could be facing huge compensation claims for lost licences and ruined careers."
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory commented:
"The public's low opinion of these money making partnerships can only plumb new depths when this news breaks. Is there no end to the cynicism in the partnerships' ‘dash for cash?’ "


Notes for Editors