Following an investigation by BBC England on bus lane camera fines, RAC spokesman Simon Williams said:
“Bus lane cameras are fast becoming a new ‘cash bonanza’ for councils. The amount of money being raised by them in fines is frightening, but it’s shocking that one single bus lane camera in Newcastle is generating nearly £6,000 a day.
“Rather than just rubbing their hands together and taking the money councils should be asking questions as to why so many motorists are being caught driving in bus lanes. They should be looking to understand if motorists are deliberately flouting the rules or whether this is happening accidentally, and if so why.
“Most motorists are aware of the regulations concerning bus lanes and there is broad acceptance that they are there to aid traffic flow by helping to keep heavy traffic moving more efficiently, reduce congestion and benefit the environment.
“For this reason we don’t believe that the majority of motorists choose to drive in bus lanes on purpose so it is our strong suspicion they are either confused by the signs or simply haven’t seen them and suddenly find themselves driving in a bus lane.
“Cameras need to be set up fairly and signed clearly so that drivers are not unduly punished. A more lenient approach should also be taken for minor errors where motorists have only crossed the lane by inches or have driven in a bus lane for a matter of moments.”