DRIVERS coughed up more than £1.7m in speed camera fines in West Yorkshire last year, latest figures show.
Pressure groups are calling for the spy devices to be removed amid claims they have failed to significantly cut casualties.
But a Huddersfield road safety charity insists cameras are a valuable tool in cutting casualty figures.
A report by the Taxpayers’ Alliance and the Drivers’ Alliance has revealed drivers in West Yorkshire were fined £1,702,800 after being caught by speed cameras between 2008 and 2009.
A further £628,301 in fines were also imposed after speeding drivers were caught by police officers.
But the report claims the road casualty rate has declined at a slower rate since speed cameras were introduced in the early 1990s, compared to figures before they were introduced.
Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Motorists have long suspected that speed cameras are more about raising money than keeping the roads safe.
“These findings show that the state has been squeezing a fortune out of people using these cameras, but if anything the rate of reduction in casualty numbers has slowed.
“The whole country should follow the example of Swindon, which has scrapped cameras altogether.
“People are sick of being fined under the guise of road safety.”
Peter Roberts, chief executive of the Drivers' Alliance, shared his view.
He said: “Speed cameras have been a false hope in improving safety on British roads.
“Close statistical analysis of road casualties shows that, since speed cameras have been the main driver of road safety policy, the road casualty rate has not gone down at the trajectory expected.
“It is time to rethink road safety policy so that it has broadened focus, not solely based on speed.
“No more speed cameras should be funded by local authorities and existing speed cameras should be removed.”
But Huddersfield-based road safety charity Brake disagreed.
Campaigns officer Ellen Booth said:
“There is a wealth of evidence to support the use of speed cameras.
“They are proven to slow traffic and reduce the number of deaths and injuries where they are placed.
“Our research also shows that speed cameras are increasingly popular.
“We are frequently approached by communities who are calling out for speed cameras to be installed.
“The bottom line is that speeding is a deadly issue in the UK, and we have to tackle it using a whole host of measures including speed cameras which are proven to be efficient and cost effective.”