THOUSANDS of motorists have been caught speeding outside schools and parks putting children’s lives in danger.

Almost 6,500 drivers have been caught by just four speed cameras in three years in Brighton and Hove.

All the cameras are situated close to schools, parks or other green spaces.

The cameras caught drivers travelling at more than double speed limits with the fastest clocked at 85 mph in a 30 mph zone just yards from the entrance to a school.

Road safety campaigners described the figures as shocking and said they supported calls for more 20 mph zones and higher on-the-spot fines for drivers.

Figures obtained by The Argus show 615 motorists were caught speeding by the speed camera in Ditchling Road which is placed just yards from the entrance to Varndean School and a children’s playground.

The figures relate to the three years up to January 2016.

A further 3,092 drivers were caught speeding by two cameras in Preston Road, close to Preston Park, while 2,746 were caught by a camera in Kingsway in Hove, close to Western Lawns.

Alice Bailey, campaigns advisors for road safety charity Brake, said: “It's shocking to see so many drivers speeding in areas where there are so many vulnerable road users - many going twice the legal limit.

“Road crashes are a major cause of death and injury among the young with the risk rising as children reach secondary school and drivers must drive safely and with consideration at all times.

“We want more 20mph zones and ultimately call for 20mph to be the default urban speed limit.

“We need traffic enforcement to be made a policing priority, with higher on-the-spot fines providing a real and immediate deterrent to dangerous law-breaking drivers."

Phil Badman, acting sergeant for Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, said: “Inevitably the deterrent does come down to means.

“If you are not working and fined £100, then you might be more reluctant to speed than if you are a millionaire and a £100 fine is an insignificant amount.

“We do try and direct as many people as we can to our driver courses because part of the process is not just to fine motorists but also educate them.

“We want drivers to show road awareness where circumstances should affect how they think about their driving."