BBC Panorama reveals council officials’ delight over increased traffic fines.
Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act and seen by the BBC’s Panorama programme reveal a target-based, revenue-raising culture at the heart of one of London’s Local Authority traffic enforcement departments.
The Panorama programme comes as councils around the country step up efforts to fine motorists with CCTV and push for permission to use parking fine money to boost Town Hall coffers.
Panorama: Traffic Fines – Highway Robbery? will be shown on Wednesday, 7.30pm on BBC One. It focuses on the new trend to sting motorists with high tech computer driven surveillance cameras.
The programme reveals a huge file of documents unearthed from the council which levies more fines for moving traffic offences than any other in London – Hammersmith and Fulham.
It showed how the council is exploiting a sophisticated new camera system to fine motorists for moving traffic offences, such as stopping in a yellow box junction or making a banned turn.
It also looked at a huge surge in fines outside London which have come about from drivers caught out in bus lanes monitored by CCTV.
The programme has obtained hundreds of emails between employees at the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham which show staff being congratulated on increasing the number of fines being handed out to motorists.
Comments in the emails include:
“Another record month, guys. Well done.”
“Well done. Another increase…holidays, as expected, brings back the traffic”
“Another good month last month. That’s despite the systems problems we had. So well done to everyone.”
One of Britain’s leading specialists on Motoring Law, Jeanette Miller, said