FEWER speeders are forking out for fines after being caught speeding on camera in North Wales, figures reveal, with more than 15,000 caught in the last year alone.

But with speeding offences at record levels across England and Wales, road safety charity Brake has warned that breaking the speed limit can have "devastating consequences".

North Wales Police logged 15,068 speeding tickets paid by drivers snapped on camera in 2018, the latest Home Office statistics show – slightly fewer than in 2017.

But this was still far more than the 8,094 paid when comparable records began in 2011.

Not every snap resulted in a fine – overall, cameras flashed for 17,515 speed violations in North Wales last year.

Drivers found to have broken the speed limit face possible punishments ranging from a fine to attending a speed awareness course, or even court action.

Police forces can send someone on a driver retraining course, which includes those on speed awareness, at their own discretion – meaning figures for fines may differ widely across the country.

However, those having to retrain can only attend a course once in a three-year period, even if they commit the same offence again.

In North Wales, camera-detected speed violations led to 2,215 court actions . There were also 232 cancelled fines.

Across England and Wales, speed limit offences were at their highest level recorded since 2011 last year.

Samuel Nahk, senior public affairs officer at Brake, said: "Breaking the speed limit by any amount can have devastating consequences, and drivers who selfishly ignore speed limits put not only themselves, but other road users, at serious risk.

"Speed cameras play a crucial role in enforcing our traffic laws, and are a proven, cost-effective way of reducing speed and preventing deaths and serious injuries.

"However, road safety isn't just about enforcement, we need safer speed limits, safer vehicles and safer road infrastructure to make sure that no journey ends in tragedy and we all manage to get home to our loved ones safely."

Cameras detected 97 per cent of the 2.1 million offences recorded across England and Wales by police last year, according to the figures, as well as 74 per cent of cases where drivers neglected traffic directions. This could involve, for example, a failure to follow road signs such as "right of way".

Drivers found to have committed a motoring offence attended a retraining course in about 45% of cases with a penalty recorded, far higher than the 14 per cent reported in 2011.

A further 40 per cent of offences resulted in a fine paid and 15 per cent involved court action.