Countless motorists could have speeding fines reimbursed because the locations of mobile cameras that caught them were not advertised in advance, it has been claimed.
Campaigners have condemned the police after the revelation that location details of the vans have not been publicised in almost a year, in breach of guidelines.
The information is supposed to be published in the media and online.
No updates have been available since July last year when the police began to transfer the former north camera partnership into a new North Safety Camera Unit.
The unit operates roadside camera vans across the Highlands and Islands, the northeast and Tayside. It is not responsible for fixed schemes such as the average speed cameras on the A9.
Police said “system difficulties” had prevented websites being updated and a new page was due to launch soon.
Leading anti speed camera campaigner Mike Burns, who has spearheaded a vociferouse battle against the so-called “Yellow Peril” of fixed A9 roadside cameras introduced by the SNP Government, learned that the van camera rules had not been adhered to in a response to questions he put to the police under Freedom of Information legislation.
He told the Press and Journal: “Regardless of the spin placed onto this by Police Scotland, the simple fact is that for nearly one year, they have flouted the guidelines on funding as described in the May 2015 handbook.
“Official paperwork shows that they have been aware of this for months yet refuse to accept they have breached the funding guidelines and have claimed hundreds of thousands of pounds regardless.
“Rules work both ways. And, if Police Scotland can’t admit their failings and breach of funding, then every member of the public has a full right to launch a grievance against the police should they have been issued with any penalty by the North Safety Camera Unit since last July.”
Despite Mr Burns’ assumption, a spokesman for the police said drivers would not be entitled to claim grievance “as they would still be committing an offence.”
Camera unit manager Arron (CORRECT) Duncan has explained that after a comprehensive review of the Scottish Safety Camera Programme (SSCP) led by Transport Scotland, Scotland’s eight safety camera partnerships were merged into three.
He said: “The NSCP, North East Safety Camera Partnership and the Tayside Safety Camera Partnership became the North Safety Camera Unit.
“The SSCP is a Scottish Government grant-funded initiative, the purpose of which is to contribute through targeted camera enforcement and improving driver behaviour to Scotland’s road safety vision and road safety targets as set out in the road safety framework to 2020.”
He said that in 2015-16 financial year, the structure and activities of the separare units had undergone transition “to align itself with the review outcomes.”
He added: “Part of this has involved the media and marketing elements of the programme as referred to within the latest version of the handbook released in May 2015.
“A new website has been under construction as part of this process and will shortly be launched.”
Mr Duncan said that during the process the websites of the previous set-up had remained live but in many instances were “unable to be updated due to system difficulties.”
A Transport Scotland spokeswoman added: “Safety of all road users is an absolute priority.
“Through targeted camera enforcement and improving driver behaviour, the Scottish Safety Camera Programme aims to reduce the number of casualties on Scotland’s roads by providing a visible and effective deterrent.
“As part of the transition to the new safety camera unit structure, all the legacy partnerships’ websites are being replaced with a new overarching website which will be made live in the coming weeks.”