Saturday 21 August 2010

Bereaved mother leads protest against speed camera closures

Ms Brixey said: "I cannot just stand by while the council puts an axe to vital road safety services that save so many young lives here each year.

They need to know how appalled local communities are about this. Most people fully support cameras and feel safer with them turned on.

"When I heard in the news the Government saying they were ending a 'war on motorists', I thought that all they were doing was enabling people to break the law and endanger lives by speeding.

"What about people's rights to use local streets safely? What about people's right to life? The Government should be prioritising saving lives on our roads not accumulating deaths. The cost of a speed camera does not compare to the cost of a life."

Ellen Booth, campaigns officer for road safety charity Brake, said:
"Increasingly, decisions being made on speed cameras are more about politics and less about facts.


The Association of British Drivers has questioned her right to protest about the camera network.

Petrolheads always claim that it’s fairer to enforce speed limits using the police rather than speed cameras. And you can see why:

A senior policewoman clocked speeding is challenging the charge by claiming that the speed gun used by her own force was not accurate. Superintendent Helen Chamberlain, 43, was recorded driving at 79mph on a road with a 50mph limit.

She was given a verbal warning by the officer who stopped her. But a more senior officer disagreed with the decision.

Ian Boddy, defending, said that questions over the accuracy of the speed gun test result would form the basis of her not guilty plea. He added that he would also seek to challenge the process that led to the decision to overrule the initial warning and the quality of traffic signs on the road she was caught on.

But Brian Gunn, prosecuting, said the defence would mean that expert technical witnesses would have to be called. He also raised questions over why the officer failed to challenge the caution she was given when she was initially caught, adding: 'I would want to, under cross examination, ask the defendant why she did not challenge this at the time.'

Last year, a police officer who was caught driving at 98mph in a 50mph zone claimed the speed limit was not enforceable because the signs were not lit. Sergeant Craig Nicholas Jones, an organised crime officer with North Wales Police, was taking a prisoner from Colwyn Bay to Caernarfon when he was stopped. The 40-year-old was fined £500 by Llandudno magistrates, with £1,000 costs.

Another policeman caught speeding at 100mph last year told a court he had been late for work. Matthew Stott was allowed to keep his licence despite admitting the charge.

Meanwhile, as speed cameras are closed down across the nation and as road traffic policing continues to shrink

Cyclists who pedal on the pavements will be the target of a police crackdown

The neighbourhood policing team received a number of complaints about cyclists regularly flouting the rules of the road.

Which may be because the neighbourhood policing questionnaire has naughty cyclists near the top of the tick box list of ‘anti-social behaviour’ while totally excluding pavement parking, speeding or indeed anything at all done by drivers. Yet the government’s own figures show that the number one form of anti-social behaviour identified by the public is… speeding.