Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Vote Conservative for more road death

Ms Villiers unveiled a radical shake-up of road safety policy including using more vehicle-activated warning signs on speed, improved road design and better education on the dangers of driving too fast. She branded local safety camera partnerships “bureaucratic” and would replace them with more “slimline co-operation arrangements” between town halls and the police.

She would also put the brakes on the roll-out of average speed checks, limiting them to major roads and motorways and where a particular need has been identified, such as roadworks.

[Tories hate average speed cameras because they are devastatingly effective, unlike warning signs, education, or fixed speed cameras, which are signed, painted bright yellow, identified on road maps and on SatNav, and can be easily dodged by Joe Slob.]

“Labour's army of speed cameras is not the best way to make our roads safer,” she said.

[A preposterous exaggeration. Speed cameras are actually very rare. The entire county of Warwickshire, for example, has just 28 fixed cameras. Locally, the M11 motorway has no speed cameras at all going north. Going south, it has precisely one. Not surprisingly the motorway regularly has high-speed crashes and fatalities.]

“Labour's dependence on fixed speed cameras has blinded them to the effectiveness of alternatives. It is time to say enough is enough on fixed speed cameras — we have reached the high-water mark.”

In short, under the next Tory government a lot of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers are going to die who would not otherwise have died.

Road safety and motoring groups were divided over the proposed reforms. Claire Armstrong, of campaign group Safe Speed, said: “We believe that this might be the beginning of a more sensible and intelligent road safety returning to the roads of the UK.”

Safe Speed (an Orwellian title, as it is devoted to removing restraints on speeding drivers) is not a campaign group but a one-woman outfit. Armstrong's opinions are worthless and insubstantial but our car supremacist media takes her very seriously indeed. I once complained to the BBC asking them to justify describing Safe Speed as a group. They couldn’t. But true to form this is what yesterday’s BBC News had to say:

A spokeswoman for campaign group Safe Speed said the pledge was the "first step towards a return to good road safety" and called for all fixed speed cameras to be abolished.

Apart from the lying insinuation that Safe Speed involves more than one individual, the BBC, which always claims to be impartial and balanced, didn’t bother to solicit the views of a genuine road safety group like RoadPeace.

BBC News is plainly in the hands of journalists on huge salaries, who drive 4X4s and fast cars, hate speed cameras, have multiple convictions for speeding and parking offences, don’t cycle, and don’t regard the regular killing of cyclists by lorry drivers in London as in any way newsworthy.