Friday 6 August 2010

The ConDem government’s encouragement of dangerous and violent driving

I wonder how many Liberal Democrat voters in the May elections realised they were casting a vote for road violence, death and lawlessness? Because that’s what their party now stands for.

It’s not simply that the ConDems are aiming to shut down the nation’s speed cameras, in order to satisfy the petrolhead wing of the Tory party. What perhaps is not understood is that cutting the funding to road safety partnerships also involves terminating enforcement of a range of other motoring crimes apart from speeding, including drunken driving and handheld mobile phone use.

Speed cameras in Oxfordshire have flashed their last motorist.

Engineers switched off the 72 fixed speed cameras and seven ‘red light’ cameras dotted around the county yesterday.

That’s right. Red light jumping is to be encouraged by the ConDems, as well as speeding. But that’s not all.

The current drink driving, mobile phone and seatbelt checks will be halted.

The partnership, funded by councils, was set up in 2000 and since then deaths on Oxfordshire’s roads have fallen by 52 per cent.

The partnership’s communications manager Dan Campsall said the organisation had no option but to cease all enforcement immediately because of the cut. He added: “The serious concern is we will see the number of deaths and casualties on the roads rise.”

Lionel Horner, of Headington, was caught by a speed camera earlier this year and welcomed the switch-off. He said: “Automatic cameras cannot be sensible because they obey rules to the letter. The policeman in his car can be more tolerant of the extent of the crime.

Mr Horner is right. Cops are car supremacist to the core and have no real wish to enforce road traffic law.

And where Oxfordshire leads, other car supremacist councils are keen to follow:

Britain’s network of 6,000 speed cameras could be dramatically reduced after a raft of councils looked set to follow Oxfordshire’s move and switch theirs off.

The county’s entire network of 72 cameras will be switched off at midnight tonight after the coalition Government pulled the plug on their funding.

The change of heart could usher in a different landscape for Britain’s 33million motorists two decades after the first network was installed.

Already, neighbouring Buckinghamshire said it is ‘very likely’ to switch off its cameras, while Bedfordshire, Suffolk and Derbyshire have launched reviews.

Northamptonshire has also switched off eight of their 42 cameras and Somerset is to axe nine of its 26 traps in coming weeks.

And now

Cameras in Wiltshire are to be switched off because of cash shortages

Wiltshire's move came within days of Oxfordshire announcing that it was pulling out of its local partnership because of cash shortages.

Mike Penning, the road safety minister, has told partnerships that they must publish information about every camera on the internet.

"They should say how much cameras are raising and how many drivers are being caught," Mr Penning told the Daily Telegraph.

It’s about time a group of people bereaved by speeding drivers got together and threw red paint over Penning at regular intervals.