The other almost 40 percent are more like road decorations than actually working machines to bust people exceeding the legal speed as they failed to meet the Department for Transport criteria about where they could be put and were therefore switched off .
The Metropolitan Police said speed safety camera housings were installed in the nineties but 323 Gatsos (baptized after their creator's name Maurice Gatsonides) were put out of action when new guidelines were issued in 2001. However, they haven't been removed from their place in an effort to discourage speedy motorists. They can't guess which ones don't work, can they?
“In 2007-08, 323 speed safety camera housings were not subject to enforcement deployment,” a spokesman for the Met confirmed to the newspaper's reporters.
“However inactive sites continue to play a role in deterring speeding,” he added.
More importantly, the news comes with a report from the Government’s transport advisers. According to this report, cars should be equipped with speed-limiting devices which will slow down automatically a car in case it exceeds the legal limit. Given that, speed cameras are becoming unnecessary.
Still, the fake speed cameras have already sparked controversial debates among anti-Gatso campaign groups who have clearly asked that the unused machines be removed from the roads.
“Cameras distract motorists. They’re so busy looking at the camera, then the speedo, then the camera again, that they can’t concentrate on the road,” Claire Armstrong, cofounder of Safe Speed explained.
“If speed cameras are not going to be used then they should be torn out of the ground or have a ‘not in use’ sign put on them,” she added.
Oh yes, and why not place a road indicator with speed cameras out of order 200 m ahead?! Just in time for the driver to be able to press the gas pedal...