BRITAIN’s leading road safety organisations have warned switching off speed cameras will create a “void” in law enforcement on the road.

Twenty-five days ago Oxfordshire became the first county in the country to switch off all its speed cameras after County Hall withdrew £600,000 of funding following a cut in Government cash.

Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership, the quango which runs the speed cameras, switched off the county’s 72 cameras but kept those in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire running because the county councils there were prepared to pay.

Police, who only caught six per cent of the speeders nabbed in Oxfordshire, have refused to step up their own speed enforcement to meet the shortfall.

Yesterday, nine of the country’s main motoring organisations, including the AA and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), joined forces to protest against the cuts to funding for speed cameras.

RoSPA estimates the cameras save 100 lives nationally a year. In 2009, Oxfordshire’s network of cameras caught 50,033 motorists breaking the limit. The same years, Thames Valley Police handed out just 3,396 fixed penalty notices for speeding in the county.

The organisations are calling for a halt to switch-offs for more debate about the merits of speed cameras.

A report by Rospa said: “Cameras are a very effective way of persuading drivers not to speed, and thereby reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured.

“Without cameras, the level of enforcement would almost certainly dwindle to a very low level, especially as the police service is also facing financial cuts.

“The deterrent against speeding would almost completely disappear.

“It is highly likely that speeding would increase, followed inexorably by an increase in the number of people killed and injured on the road.”

Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership spokes-man Richard Owen said: “TVSRP fully supports the stance taken by the UK’s road safety experts in calling for the continued use of speed cameras.

“The decision to leave the partnership was made by Oxfordshire County Council.

“If they change their mind, the rest of the partners would welcome discussions about recommissioning some or all of their camera locations.”

Oxfordshire County Council spokesman Marcus Mabberleysaid: “Speed camera funding has been cut by Government across the country and is likely to be subject to further cuts next year and in future years.”