Motoring organisation, the AA, has raised concerns that lives could be at risk if councils go ahead with plans to turn off speed cameras. Major cuts in government funding have resulted in many councils finding it difficult to justify expenditure on the cameras. In July, Oxfordshire county council made the decision to deactivate its speed traps because of a budget shortfall of £600,000.

The AA claims that the decision to scrap speed cameras has not been well thought out and that the government has done it as a way of showing that it wishes to end the perceived war on motorists. However, the AA says British road users are far more concerned with preventing fatalities on roads, which could now turn into race tracks, rather than a government policy to reduce funding.

The association’s president, Edmund King, admitted that speed cameras were never going to become the most popular sight on our roads, but he believes when they are placed in the right position on the right roads they can be an affective and acceptable speed control device.

According to Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership the number of drivers choosing to exceed the speed limit as they pass deactivated cameras has increased by 88 per cent. The road safety budget has been slashed by £38 million. This means that more cameras throughout Britain may face the axe like in Oxfordshire.

The AA claims that some Oxfordshire residents are alarmed by the camera switch off and are worried that an increase in speeding motorists throughout the county is inevitable.