You’ve been framed! Number of speeding motorists caught in London soars 64% thanks to new speed cameras

The number of drivers caught speeding in London has soared by almost two-thirds after police were given high-tech new enforcement cameras.

A total of 443,609 offences have been recorded by the Met since last April – up 64 per cent on the 270,458 in the same period the previous year.

Smile, you’re on LaserCam: The new speed camera that has caught 40,000 speeding motorists (TfL)
Smile, you’re on LaserCam: The new speed camera that has caught 40,000 speeding motorists (TfL)

This is partly down to the introduction of five mobile “LaserCam” devices that combine a speed gun and video camera – enabling the targeting of new “hot spot” locations, including at night. About 40,000 of the offences were caught by LaserCam.

Another factor was an increase in the Met’s “back office” ability to process speeding offences, the Standard was told.

City Hall wants the Met to have the capacity to enforce a million speeding offences a year from April next year.

Framed: a speeding motorist is detected by the LaserCam (TfL)
Framed: a speeding motorist is detected by the LaserCam (TfL)

The new speed cameras, which supplement hundreds of fixed roadside cameras, were provided by Transport for London last February as part of Mayor Sadiq Khan’s “Vision Zero” campaign to eradicate road deaths by 2041.

The LaserCam devices are regarded as “game changing” because they collect evidence able to be used in court and which avoids the need for the driver to be pulled over by police.

TfL commissioner Andy Lord said the new cameras had provided “additional speed enforcement and enabled us to flexibly respond to speeding concerns from London boroughs”.

He said: “This highlights the good progress on our commitment to improve safety on our roads and increase the levels of speed enforcement undertaken by the police, building the capacity to enforce up to one million offences per year.”

If the current trend continues, about 600,000 speeding drivers will be caught in the capital this financial year.

The Met enforced 476,685 speeding offences in 2021/22 – up 72 per cent on the previous year.

Jeremy Leach, London co-ordinator of the 20s Plenty For Us campaign, said: “TfL data shows that 48 per cent of fatal collisions have speed as a contributory factor.

“We are getting more and more of a sense how significant speed is in terms of casualty volumes in London. Lower speed limits and higher levels of enforcement, and then higher levels of compliance, work together in a virtuous circle.

“TfL and the Met seem to be doing a huge amount of work on increasing compliance, and we welcome that.”

More than half of all roads in London have a 20mph limit – including almost 70 miles of main roads.

TfL wants to convert an additional 17 miles of its “red routes” in Camden, Islington, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Haringey to 20mph – meaning the same speed limit on “local” roads and main roads.

This would affect sections of the A503, A501, A41, A1, A10, A11 and A1203 from next month. More than 130 more miles of roads in inner and outer London are due to follow next year.

Three years ago TfL imposed a 20mph limit on all its roads within the central London congestion charge zone.

This has resulted in a 25 per cent reduction in the number of “red route” collisions involving death or serious injury, down from 94 to 71, TfL revealed yesterday.

There was also a similar reduction in the total number of crashes on the TfL network, down from 406 to 304.

Collisions involving pedestrians decreased by 63 per cent (from 124 to 46).

TfL said people hit by a vehicle at 20mph were about five times less likely to be killed than at 30mph.

It found the 20mph limits slowed traffic by an average of 1.7mph to 5mph without increasing congestion.

Income from speeding tickets - which cost at least £100 - goes to the Treasury not to TfL or the Met. Drivers also get three points on their licence.

Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said: “Sadly more than 4,000 people are killed and seriously injured on London’s roads every year. Lowering speeds is one of the most important things we can do to reduce road danger.”