2002-Dec-19
les conducteurs de l'Angleterre sont bon
British drivers are better than French drivers — that's not our opinion, but the opinion of French president Jacques Chirac, who at the launch of a campaign to improve road safety (sécurité routière) in France, called on drivers to drive more like les anglais. Death rates on the roads in France are far higher than in other northern European countries.

The Times
Le Monde — Sécurité routière : plus de contrôles, plus de sanctions (en français naturellement)
Don't speak French? — Copy the URL above and get Alta Vista Babelfish to make some attempt to translate it.
ABD — The Safest Roads in Europe

2002-Dec-18
South African cop exposes speed gun deceipt
A police officer in South Africa, charged with driving at 205 kph (127mph), has revealed in court how police can falsify evidence obtained using speed guns. Speed of one vehicle can be measured by laser, then a second vehicle can be filmed appearing to be travelling at the speed of the first. The officers defence team showed 'evidence' of a parked car doing 130kph and a jogger doing 109kph. An official who helped the defence team produce this 'evidence' has been charged with gross insubordination — can't have the truth getting out can we?

Full story from the Sunday Tribune

2002-Nov-26
Shock as Oxford road improved
Oxford Builder Ian Beesley was so fed up with the noise of vehicles traversing a speed hump outside his house keeping him and his wife awake all night, that he used his JCB to dig it up.
Oxford City Council — obviously no more interested in the opinion of residents than they are of drivers — had refused to listen to his complaints for five weeks.
After removing the hump and clearing the road surface, Mr Beesley reported his actions to the police. He later said "I've got a right to sleep like anybody else."

BBC
The Sun
ABD Local Issues — Oxfordshire

2002-Nov-11
Lambeth to name and shame Ken
Lambeth Council is so fed up of dealing with complaints from drivers about the congestion around Vauxhall Cross that it is to put up signs telling them who is to blame — our old friend Ken Livingstone — because TfL have deliberately not publicized that they are responsible.
Vauxhall Labour MP Kate Hoey said "I am extremely worried that TFL are unaccountable. They walk over anyone who does not go along with them - they are a virtual dictatorship and it seems that half of the people working there are obsessive about being anti-car."

ABD Local Issues — London
'This is London' article

2002-Sep-21
Edinburgh
Abandons
Democracy
Despite it's own biased 'consultation' exercise showing only a minority in favour of congestion charging, Labour-controlled Edinburgh City Council has decided to go ahead with a two-tier scheme to charge drivers £2 to enter the city, and another £2 to enter the city centre. The scheme will be introduced in 2006. However, the council are already running scared with many aspects of the original proposals having been watered down or dropped in the face of rising public anger. Local elections in May 2003 will allow the voters of Edinburgh to remind the council that we live in a democracy.

News article from 'The Scotsman'
Propaganda from Edinburgh City Council
ABD Local Issues — Edinburgh

2002-Sep-6
Speed
Camera
Kills
Motorcyclist
A young motorcyclist has been killed by a speed camera in London. A group of motorcyclists riding together braked in response to a speed camera near the Harlequins Rugby Ground on the A316 Great Chertsey Road in Twickenham (The main route into London from the M3). One 23 year old man in the group failed to spot the camera and collided with another motorcycle. He died later in hospital, the other rider sustained serious injuries.
The authorities will no doubt add this to the list of fatalities that speed cameras are supposed to prevent.

'This is Local London' news article
Map with approximate location arrowed

2002-Aug-23
Police
Warning
Comes
True
30 Speed Cameras along a 27 mile stretch of the North Circular Road in London have been systematically vandalized, and those behind the attacks have threatened more.
Whilst the ABD does not condone such acts of vandalism, it comes as no surprise.
The news will certainly come as no surprise to the Metropolitan Police. In April 1999 a memo from a senior officer was leaked to the Evening Standard, warning of a 'breakdown of law and order' if the authorities persisted with plans to step up harassment and obstruction of motorists in the capital.
The police, an increasing number of whom are disillusioned with blatant anti-car policy, now have to waste their inadequate resources dealing with a problem that need not exist at all.
Despite the warning from the police, and the fuel protests of 2000, the government still believes it can continue to bully drivers with more and more restrictions and costs.
Like blowing air into a balloon, they should not be too surprised if one day it goes bang in their face.

'This is London' news article
ABD Press Release 189 from April 1999

2002-Aug-08
"Gotta leave old Durham Town?"
That'll be
£2 please.
Durham County Council is to charge drivers £2 to leave Saddler Street in Durham — the only road into the historic city centre, which is virtually surrounded by a loop of the River Wear. From October, vehicles will have to pay £2 on exiting from the peninsula between 10:00 & 16:00 Monday to Saturday. Local residents, their visitors, disabled drivers, motorcyclists, & those attending establishments where off-street parking is available will be exempt. The council states that Drivers who do not pay or fail to produce a exemption permit will face a £30 'excess charge', but the exit is controlled by a rising bollard and payment machine, so quite how anyone could possibly avoid paying isn't clear.

Press Release from Durham County Council
BBC News article (1st October)
Map

2002-Aug-04
Tenby
Bans
Cars
In the most vicious anti-car scheme yet in Britain, Pembrokeshire County Council have imposed a total ban on cars within the town walls of Tenby between 12:00 and 16:00 during August. The move means local residents, traders, and tourists are prevented from entering or leaving the area. Tourists arriving for holidays will be forced to carry their luggage up to half a mile. The scheme was arrogantly imposed without any consultation whatsoever, and has infuriated residents, businesses and tourists alike.

Story from the BBC
Story from the Tenby Observer, part of Tindle News

Pembrokeshire County Council now claims it is keen to hear views and experiences on the exercise. Comments should be forwarded to: Directorate of Transportation and Environment, Pembrokeshire County Council, County Hall, Haverfordwest, SA61 1TP.

You may also wish to complain to shaun.griffiths@pembrokeshire.gov.uk or john.price@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

A special helpline has been set up for anyone experiencing transport related difficulties. Call (01834) 843203 between 10:00 and 16:00.

If you are in Tenby, Tenby Town Council (who have objected to the lack of consultation) have also set up a special ‘comments book’ where people can express their views on the experiment. This book is available in the council offices at the De Valence Pavilion on Upper Frog Street daily Monday to Friday from 09:30 to 16:00.

2002-Aug-02
Build Roads Not Railways
A research project carried out by the Department of Applied Economics at Cambridge University has called for investment in roads rather than rail, stating that 'road investments appear to be considerably more profitable than rail investments'.

Full story from Fleet News net

2002-Jul-27
Scottish road toll sham
If there was ever any doubt about so called 'consultation exercises' there isn't now. The Scottish Executive have advertised a civil service job for dealing with road tolls in Edinburgh. This job advert appeared before the so-called public consultation about the road tolls had finished. Scottish Tory leader David McLetchie said the advert proved that the consultation exercise was a "sham".

Scottish Executive
Edinburgh City Council — The Future For Edinburgh's Transport

2002-May-29
Hampshire
Police
caught out by own camera
Hampshire Police have been fined £500 for failing to identify the driver of an unmarked police car snapped by one of their own cameras (Stop sniggering at the back!). The car was photographed doing 48mph in a 30mph zone, but the driver did not come forward to own up (well done that man!) and despite a four month investigation (good to know our police are spending their time so wisely) the police were unable to identify who had been driving it. Deputy chief constable Ian Readhead was thus obliged to appear in court and pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to give information about the identity of the driver. He went on to claim that the driver had "tarnished the reputation of the constabulary" — shame he doesn't realise that speed cameras do that every day.
If only they'd referred the matter to the European Court of Human Rights, as described on our Right to Silence page.

BBC News article
Hampshire Police

2002-May-29
M4 limit raised
The speed limit on the M4 bus lane section near London is to be raised from 50mph to 60mph. The speed limit on the elevated section into London is to remain at a ridiculously low 40mph. Anyone who has been prosecuted for exceeding 50 since the limit was lowered might like to ask for a refund, as this is a clear admission the 50mph limit was wrong. Motorcyclists will also be allowed to use the bus lane.

Highways agency Announcement

2002-May-24
Camera
Complaints
Choke Cops
Drivers in Lancashire are so angry at hidden speed cameras that they have flooded police with over 3000 calls a month. The police have now relented and announced that all hidden cameras will be moved or relocated. The people of Lancashire clearly want police protecting the public by patrolling the streets, not sat in an office alienating the public. We wonder how long it will take Lancashire Constabulary to realise this.

More from Preston Online

2002-May-24
Northants
Fatalities
Increase
Contrary to claims by the "safety camera partnership" in Northamptonshire that speed cameras improve road safety, latest figures show that people killed in road traffic accidents between April 2001 and March 2002 rose to 56, compared to 51 in the previous 12 months.
Desperately trying to back pedal on previous claims that cameras had reduced fatalities, a police spokesman suddenly decided that the number of fatalities "doesn't accurately reflect the overall safety of roads".

Story from Northants News

2002-Apr-30
Policemen
are
Wonderful
Policemen are wonderful? Well this one is. He deserves a medal. You see, whilst on patrol in Ebbw Vale, South Wales, the officer from Gwent Police spotted a van from the "Mid and South Wales Area Safety Camera Partnership" operating a speed camera trap — which was allowed. Only the van was parked on single yellow lines — which was not allowed. So he gave the constable in the van a £30 fine.
As Windsor Davies said in "It Ain't Half Hot Mum": "Oh dear — How sad — Never mind".
We don't know who this officer is, but let's hope he rapidly rises to the rank of Chief Constable and takes the rest of the Talivans off our roads.

Story on Pepipoo, with photo of another Talivan parked in a dangerous place.

2002-Apr-30
Johnny Three Jags
To underline the hypocrisy of the government's anti-car policies, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott is set to acquire a third Jaguar. This one will be paid for by taxpayers, all £143,000 of it, including armour plating and bullet proof glass. The 007 style features are being fitted in Holland — apparently John doesn't think much of British companies. We wonder if it will have revolving number plates so he doesn't get caught by speed cameras, though an ejector seat would probably be too optimistic on our part. Expect to see it cruising down John's M4 bus lane before long.

News article from The Sun

2002-Apr-13
Hawaii
Scraps
'Talivans'
Following from our news article of 31st January, the state of Hawaii has now completely abandoned a scheme to enforce speed limits on state roads using mobile speed camera vans — dubbed 'Talivans' by the locals. Governor Ben Cayetano acknowledged that the public were not prepared to accept such abuse of the law to extort money from drivers.
All we need now is for Northamptonshire to be persuaded to scrap it's 'Talivans'.

News Story from Yahoo

2002-Mar-15
Ministers
to get
reduced
company
car tax
Government Ministers are set to enjoy a significant reduction on company car tax, which could save them over £6000 per year. The latest stealth tax to be imposed on drivers will be largely avoided by our beloved and respected leaders, who consider themselves so important that taxes they claim to be 'protecting the environment' need not apply to them.
One rule for us, another for them.
So whilst they introduce a never ending stream of anti-car measures to try and force the public onto inadequate public transport, they go gliding past in their chauffeur driven black limos. Remind anyone of communist Russia?
They get to avoid paying Red Ken's congestion charge too. As if further proof were needed.
2002-Feb-16
Meacher
tells Police
to Bully
Bikers
Environment Minister Michael Meacher has called on Chief Constables to "deal with the growing problem of motorcycling" in National Parks. In a leaked letter Meacher reveals his irrational hatred of bikers by stating he would like to see bikes banned completely from National Parks, but recognizes this would be impractical. So he's basically asking the Police to persecute bikers instead. He clearly believes all bikers are a menace and should be taken off the roads. No surprise there considering the government's attitude to car drivers.

More details from Motorcycle News
Protest against the anti-bike campaign

2002-Jan-31
Drivers
rebel in
Hawaii
The state of Hawaii has backed down on plans to roll out speed cameras after angry drivers on Oahu retaliated at Big Brother measures. Abuse, offensive gestures and even garbage was hurled at staff operating unmarked Toyota Sienna vans, newspapers urged drivers not to pay fines, whilst radio stations gave out locations. The scheme is being run by a private company, to whom the state has effectively given a licence to mug drivers.

Editorial comment from the Honolulu Star newspaper

2002-Jan-6
Penny
drops on
Coppers
An Inspector of Constabulary has warned Cleveland police of the consequences of their enthusiasm for targeting 'speeding' motorists. Dan Crompton said the practice was affecting the way officers tackled other crime, and was thus damaging its relationship with the public.
The ABD would like to point out that decades ago, the police displayed the same enthusiasm for targeting ethnic minorities. That is no longer 'politically correct', but the government has intentionally created an atmosphere in which the targeting of drivers is 'politically correct'. Thankfully it appears there are at least some police officers who are begining to realise the consequences of this irrationality.

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