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09:30 - 22 February 2006
Derbyshire has more speed cameras than any other county in the East Midlands, the Government has revealed.

Figures released by Transport Minister Stephen Ladyman show that 127 speed cameras have been installed in the county.

That compares to 91 in Leicestershire, 77 in Northamptonshire and 58 in Nottinghamshire.

Although Derbyshire covers a larger area than the other counties, this still amounts to more safety cameras per square miles, with 13 cameras per 100 square miles for Derbyshire, 11 for Leicestershire, eight for Northamptonshire and seven for Nottinghamshire.

Derbyshire Safety Camera Partnership said it could not comment on how the number of cameras in the county compared to that in other counties, but did say it had responded to demand.

According to accident figures for 2004, the number of people killed or seriously hurt in collisions in Derbyshire exceeded that of Northamptonshire but not Nottinghamshire.

On average, 48 people died or were seriously injured each month during 2004 in Derbyshire, whereas equivalent figures for Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire were 70 and 42 respectively.

No figures were available for Leicestershire.

Maggie Ward, project manager for the partnership, said: "Our aim is to reduce collisions and encourage people to slow down and stick to the speed limit.

"I cannot comment on other counties, but we've acted upon the number of collisions seen on our roads. Our cameras are placed in accident- vulnerable places.

"Now, because people are listening, the number of drivers caught on camera has been reduced quite substantially and the number of collisions has also reduced."

In 2005, there were 39,849 prosecutions, compared to 51,152 in 2004 and 60,862 in 2003. There were 3,516 collisions in 2004 and 3,550 in 2003.

Marcia McFarlane (34), of Romsley Close, Mickleover, whose daughter, Drew, suffered a fractured pelvis after a collision with a car in Station Road in July 2004, said having speed cameras on the roads was a positive thing.

She said: "People should not be speeding, so if they are caught out by these cameras then it's fair enough. If when Drew was knocked down the driver had been speeding, she would have been killed."

But Keith Alldread (55), of Victoria Avenue, Ockbrook, thinks that safety cameras are not the best means of slowing drivers down.

He said: "I believe there are better ways of stopping people from speeding than installing cameras, such as illuminated signs that light up when you're over the speed limit, which are frequently used in America.

"This doesn't penalise motorists, but warns them. I think there should be better signage telling motorists they're approaching a section of road subject to a speed limit."