2004-Dec-23
Duke of
Gloucester
Banned
for
'Speeding'
The Duke of Gloucester, who is president of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, has been banned for speeding under totting up. That's a bit embarrassing, isn't it?
 
But this is what it's all about now though, isn't it?
 
You're guilty of speeding. The scamera operator who nicks you is guilty of speeding. The magistrate you stand in front of speeds too. The clerk of the court speeds. Everyone in the whole court, camera partnership and police force speeds.
 
Every single person who has contributed to your prosecution is just as guilty as you of just the same offence. You were just unlucky enough to get caught.
 
And when justice is administered on the basis of luck, by people as guilty as the defendent, there's something deeply, deeply wrong with the country.
 

BBC — Queen's cousin given driving ban
Institute of Advanced Motorists

2004-Dec-21
Speed
Cameras
will ban
91% of
drivers
Rose Baker, Professor of Statistics at Salford University, has calculated that the infestation of speed cameras on Britain's roads means that the average driver can now expect to be banned thrice during their lifetime.
She is not talking about reckless drivers but all drivers who stray a few miles per hour over the speed limit because they are looking where they are going rather than gorping at their speedometer.
Whether or not you are caught depends not on your driving, but on sheer bad luck — whether you happen to stray over the limit in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • The average driver will face a ban every 15 years.
  • 25% of drivers will be banned every 7 years.
  • Only 9% of drivers will never be banned.

Mathematics Today — The Trouble With Speed Cameras
Sunday Times — One day soon we’ll all get a speed ban

2004-Dec-12
Jurassic
Park
Author
Exposes
Global
Warming
Scam
Buy on line at Amazon The author of Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton, has added his voice to the growing chorus of those exposing the global warming scam. Crichton spent three years researching his new book 'State of Fear', a thriller about eco-terrorists with footnotes, graphs and scientific references. In the book he argues that the threat of global warming has been exaggerated by environmentalists.
"I'm saying that environmental organizations are fomenting false fears in order to promote agendas and raise money."

Crichton also sums up media complicity in global warming scaremongering:
"My view of this is that the media is like the guy going down the street with a sign that says 'The End of the World is Near,' and he picks a date and the day comes and goes, and the world doesn't end. So he doesn't stop with the sign. He goes home, makes another sign, puts a new date on it, and starts marching again. That's the way the media is."

ABC News — Michael Crichton Takes on Global Warming in Latest Work
Amazon.co.uk — State of Fear 

2004-Dec-08
IAM
tell
Brunstrom
how it is
The Institute of Advanced Motorists have spoken out against 'Driver Alientation'. In a press release issued on the day that North Wales Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom was set to address their Annual Lunch, IAM chairman John Maxwell stated that safety on UK roads is at risk because drivers feel "targeted, vulnerable and alienated". He called for a review of speed cameras and insisted all cameras should clearly show the speed limit. He also said that speed limits need to be seen to be right if they are to be respected, and called for more traffic police.

IAM Chief warns Driver Alienation "is not in the interest of Road Safety"
[pdf 90k]

2004-Dec-06
Darling sees sense on 20mph zones
Alistair Darling has criticized the wanton abuse of 20mph zones by local authorities. Speaking to the London Evening Standard he said:
"There's quite a substantial lobby, people saying we should have 20mph speed limits through large swathes of towns and cities. I don't think that right, partly because I don't think it's necessary, partly because it would be difficult to enforce. There are cases where 20mph limits are justified, such as outside a school or a hospital for a short period, but we need to be sensible and grown up about these things."
Sorry, but did a Labour Transport Minister just say "sensible and grown up"? Things are looking up.
2004-Oct-27
Government to make Drivers pay for other's crimes
In an extension of it's policy of discriminating against drivers, the government has introduced a new law that will allow fixed penalty fines for speeding and other offecnes to be increased to pay for the victims of serious crimes. In other words people caught by speed cameras will be forced to pay compensation to people who have suffered from the criminal acts of others. This is just another petty and vindictive stealth tax on drivers.

Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Bill [pdf 442k]

2004-Sep-01
Monitron
Mugging
Machines
Menace
Motorists
New digital speed cameras have been installed on the A4 in Bristol. The "SpeedCurb" cameras are made by Kidderminster based firm "Monitron International" which was recently put into the hands of administrators who promptly sacked half the workforce.
The cameras do not use film but are linked by phone to a control centre. They are placed on top of a 6 metre pole to discourage vandals and are much smaller than Gatso cameras to make them less visible to drivers.

Auto Express — Spied: UK's First Digital 'Gatso'
Monitron International
ABD — Worcestershire

2004-Sep-01
Say
Goodbye
Darling
Radar detector retailers are fighting back after Transport Secretary Alistair Darling threatened to ban the road safety devices. Mark Cornwall, of mail order specialist Car Parts Direct, has called on Darling to resign. Darling has refused to reply to Mr Cornwall's letters. Radar detector manufacturers claim that the devices remind drivers to keep within the speed limit. An independent MORI-POLL found that radar detector users were 28% less likely to be involved in an accident than a non-user. Supporters of Mr Cornwall's stance have included a police chief who is fed up of his officers being used by the government as highway robbers.
“If speed cameras are here to stay, so are radar detectors,” - Mark Cornwall

Car Parts Direct

2004-Aug-11
Edinburgh
Voted
Worst City
in Britain
for Drivers
Edinburgh has been branded the most driver-unfriendly city in Britain. The survey by Auto Express magazine and Jamjar Cars revealed that parking was the main source of driver's discontent.
 
Edinburgh City Council has spearheaded anti-car policy since the days when David Begg, head of the now dis-credited Commission for Integrated Transport, was a city councillor.
 
The council has declared war on all drivers be they residents, workers, shoppers or tourists. Streets are patrolled by private parking enforcers employed by Central Parking System — a subsidiary of US company Central Parking Corporation. These enforcers offer no quarter to their victims as they abandon all concept of fairness in their dash to line the pockets of foreign shareholders.
In what amounts to daylight robbery, the council has also forced 10,500 city residents to pay for residents parking spaces when it only has 7,000 available. The city council is also proposing a congestion charge like that in London.
 
A businessman has described the city centre’s parking restrictions as "ridiculous and draconian", and is calling on businesses to join forces to challenge the Council's anti-parking policies.

The Scotsman — Capital comes bottom for 'driver friendliness'
The Scotsman — Businesses urged to fight parking fines
ABD — Edinburgh

2004-Aug-05
Police State
Discriminates
Against
Drivers
- Official
Steve Gooding, Director, Roads and Vehicles Directorate, Department for Transport; made this unbelievable comment to the House of Commons Transport Committee on Wednesday 14 July 2004:
"Specifically, we are aware that some chief constables do have teams specifically going back through the records of people who have been caught on speed cameras, working on the principle that people who disregard one law tend to disregard several, and they then would pursue those in the sort of intelligent way you are suggesting to see what other offences they might be associated with."

Parliament — Transcript (Near the bottom of the page)
 
The Race Relations [Amendment] Act 2000 makes it unlawful for police officers to discriminate on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality or national origins when using their powers.
 
It seems we now need laws to spell out to some police officers that discrimination against drivers is equally unacceptable.
2004-Aug-03
Tories
accuse
government of
"waging a war
on drivers".
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport Damian Green has promised to put a stop to the government's war on drivers if elected. He said:
"We want to make driving less of a misery.
What we are proposing today is a series of common sense practical measures which will get the government off the back of the sensible driver and restore confidence in the way we enforce the speed limit."
The Tories are also promising to increase the motorway speed limit to 80mph, to review all speed cameras in England and Wales and scrap those which have not reduced accidents, and to put more police patrols back on our roads.

BBC — Tories blitz 'cash-maker' cameras
ABD — Raising the Motorway Speed Limit

2004-Jul-03
Global
Warming?
Poppycock!
Professor David Bellamy has added his voice to the many scientists condeming the myth of 'Global Warming'. In an article in the Daily Mail of 9th June 2004, Bellamy accuses politicians and policy makers of ignorance and having an unshakeable faith in the 'poppycock' of global warming. He goes on to cite scientific evidence which is ignored by the scaremongers who want to waste £76 trillion on the Kyoto Protocol.
Download a copy of David Bellamy's article [pdf 321k]
2004-Jul-03
Dummy
Targets
Motorways
Transport Secretary Alistair Darling has announced the first of another series of daft anti-car plans. This one is to introduce multi-occupancy vehicle lanes on motorways. Plans to use cameras to enforce these have been dropped after it was realised cameras couldn't do this reliably (much like the London Congestion Charge then). So the government now plans to use police patrols to monitor the lanes — forgetting that they've scrapped most of them.
 
A spokesman for Acme Inflatable Dummies plc said he was delighted at the news:
"Our new inflatable passenger works off the cigarette lighter in the car and inflates in seconds. When deflated it becomes a cushion on the passenger seat. We are working on a GPS version that will automatically inflate the dummy when you go onto a motorway. A sensor in the seat stops any real passenger being accidentally ejected, though this can be over-riden if a government minister is in the seat."
Reports that the company are secretly working on an Alistair Darling lookalike dummy were strenuously denied by the company's chief engineer who explained that this would be technically impossible as their dummies are full of cold air, not hot air.
Shares in Acme Inflatable Dummies plc went through the roof.
 
The nine most terrifying words in the English language are
  “I'm from the government and I'm here to help”
Ronald Reagan

2004-Jun-14
Government
speed
camera
report
The government have released a report claiming that speed cameras save 100 lives per year.
 
If we humour them and accept this for a moment, and consider that there are 5000 speed cameras, we have to ask what the other 4900 are doing.
 
Despite the wild claim of 100 lives saved, the number of people killed on Britain's roads has not fallen by any such amount. Details
 
Casualties actually increased at 21% of speed camera locations.
 

10 Downing Street — Speed cameras save lives
DfT — Speed Camera Evaluation Report
Daily Telegraph — Speed cameras save lives, says study
Conservatives — Confine speed cameras to accident "black spots"
Daily Telegraph — More people killed at many speed camera sites

2004-Jun-04
Hampshire
Good
Samaritan
Persecuted
by Police
A 71 year old Aldershot driver who warned fellow motorists about a speed trap has been prosecuted by Hampshire Police and been banned from driving by a court in what is clearly an unjust, petty, and vindictive act.
The prosecution bizarrely claimed that because pensioner Stuart Harding was warning drivers he was guilty of preventing them being prosecuted. This is an utterly ludicrous statement when you consider that the police themselves put up speed camera warning signs and publish speed trap locations on the their website. It also suggests that any shopkeeper who puts up a sign saying "security cameras in operation" is guilty of preventing shoplifters from being prosecuted.
The incident is a clear sign that persecution of drivers is rife in this country, and that both the police and the courts have lost all concept of right and wrong.
Hampshire Police, by their ongoing fanatical desire to raise as much money as possible from drivers, now find themselves viewed with increasing contempt by the public.
The ABD demands that all charges against Mr Harding be dropped and his driving ban cancelled.

Daily Telegraph — Motorist is banned over speed trap alert

2004-Jun-03
Skye High
Tolls to be
Scrapped
After a long campaign of civil disobedience, the Scottish Executive has announced that the extortionate tolls on the Skye Bridge are to be scrapped by the end of 2004. Campaigners, however, want them scrapped now and plan a demonstration on the bridge on 3rd July.
Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire Councils have responded by calling for tolls on the Erskine Bridge to be scrapped too.

The Scotsman — Skye bridge tolls to be scrapped by year's end
The Scotsman — Scrap tolls or I quit, warns Lib Dem MSP
The Scotsman — Call for Erskine charges to be lifted
Skye & Kyle Against Tolls

2004-May-15
Viva
Italia!
Italian State Police have acquired a new patrol car, and as a testament to the country's more rational attitude to road policing, it's a Lamborghini Gallardo with a V10 engine generating 500 BHP, top speed of 192mph, and 0-60 in 4 seconds. The car was a gift from Lamborghini to celebrate the 152nd anniversary of the founding of the state police.

We're reminded of what Eddie Irvine once wrote about the Italian Police:
"They're a lot less anal than the British when it comes to speed."

www.italiaspeed.com
Polizia di Stato (in Italian) with more Photos

2004-May-07
Merseyside
Safety
Camera
Partnership
Scrapped
The Merseyside ‘Safety’ Camera Partnership which has been in the planning for two years has been scrapped. Amazingly it has been scrapped because Department for Transport rejected the partnership's application to join the netting off scheme, stating that proposed speed camera sites did not meet official criteria.
This is a clear sign that the government have finally seen the writing on the wall.
Speed cameras have failed to reduce overall accident figures, and the government clearly do not want the growing public discontent over speed cameras to spread any further.

Liverpool Daily Post — Plan for more speed cameras is scrapped
ABD — Merseyside

2004-May-07
Parking
Enforcers
Brought
to Heel
Manchester City Council have told city parking enforcers NCP to end the blitz on motorists and take a "commonsense" approach. The 'outsourcing' of parking enforcement to private companies has resulted in a plague of parasites whose only interest is to line the pockets of themselves and their shareholders. After the previous company, Control Plus, was sent packing for a string of absurdities including ticketing a bus at a bus stop, and slapping a ticket on a rabbit hutch, the city council appear to have called a halt.
NCP in Westminster also claim to have told their enforcers to abide by the rules.
It remains to be seen whether NCP will now conduct themselves in a professional manner, or continue the money-grabbing.

BBC — Parking U-turn could end ticket madness
ABD — Manchester

2004-May-02
Police
Federation
to debate
speed
cameras
Rank and file officers from police forces around the country will be debating speed cameras at the annual conference of the Police Federation later this month.
An increasing number of senior police officers are now speaking openly of concerns about the effect that the uncontrolled proliferation of inappropriately sited speed cameras is having on relations with the public.
Rod Dalley, the federation's vice-chairman, said it did not oppose cameras in principle, but was increasingly worried by the way they were being used to replace officers by cash-strapped forces with many other high-profile policing targets.

Observer — Police join the assault on speed cameras
ABD — Quotes from police officers on speed cameras
Police Federation

2004-Apr-30
GMP ACC
Fined for
104mph
on M6 Toll
Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable Steve Thomas has been prosecuted for driving at 104mph on the M6 Toll Road. Mr Thomas is in charge of traffic policing for GMP.
Mr Thomas said
"On the day in question, the driving and road conditions were good, and I was part of a group of around 15 cars all doing around the same speed. I considered that my manner of driving was safe. However, exceeding the speed limit by this amount is unacceptable and I sincerely regret my error of judgement."
He was fined £450 and given six penalty points.
Here's a highly trained and experienced driver who knows that he was doing nothing dangerous on a virtually empty motorway in good weather, yet is unable to say so for fear of incuring the wrath of the modern day equivalent of the Spanish Inquisition.

BBC — Traffic police chief did 104mph
ABD — M6 Toll

2004-Apr-28
Asian
Countries
Plan
87,000 mile
Super
Highway
Asian countries have acknowledged the importance of good roads by signing up to an ambitious plan to create a super highway that will run from Tokyo to Istanbul. The new road will cross Asia like the "Silk Road" of old, providing trade benefits to all countries. The new road and its connections will include some 87,000 miles of highway to a common standard.
This vision of the future is in stark contrast to the 'ostrich head in the sand' attitude of the British government which refuses to acknowledge the detrimental effect that Britain's inadequate road network is having on business.

BBC — Asia signs up to 'new Silk Road'

2004-Apr-7
You Can't
Complain,
We've
Changed
The Rules
The Department for Transport, in a pityful attempt to head off criticism about speed cameras, has simply changed the rules about where they can be placed.
Previously, fixed cameras could only be located where there had been four fatalities or serious injury collisions in the last three calendar years, and at least eight personal injury collisions in the same period.
Now the DfT have changed the rules so that the secretive camera pratnerships can put them where they like.
This decision can only be described as an act of utter stupidity that gives the scamerati an excuse for more money grabbing cameras, which will only serve to incite further public anger.

Eastern Daily Press — Speedcam rule change revealed

2004-Mar-30
Norfolk
Police
slate
Speed
Camera
Partnership
Norfolk's Speed Camera Partnership has been condemned in a report by none other than the Chief Constable of Norfolk Police. An investigation by the police found:
  • Several cameras fail to meet national rules on siting.
  • Crucial accident data has been destroyed.
  • Cameras are not being properly monitored.
The partnership has also been described by Norfolk County Council as being "exclusive and secretive".

EDP — Top cop slates speed camera partnership
Norwich Evening News — Speed cameras - the truth
ABD — Norfolk

2004-Mar-13
Lancashire
Police
Set to Lead
the Way on
Speed
Cameras
In a major step forward, Lancashire Constabulary have become the first UK police force to take a step back from the abuse of speed cameras. Chief Constable Paul Stevenson has announced that drivers caught only slightly above the speed limit will in future receive a caution rather than an automatic fine and points on their licence.
The Chief Constable acknowledged the negative effect that excessive speed enforcement is having on relations with the public.
"Any criminal justice system to be effective has to be seen to be fair. It just cannot be right when people feel that our response within that system is disproportionate."

Lancashire Constabulary — Constabulary to review speed camera policy
BBC — 'Speed Cameras Stay', says Chief
ABD — Lancashire

2004-Feb-10
Retiring Chief Constable Attacks Speed Camera Racket
About to be released from the shackles of political correctness by retirement, the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, Mike Hedges, has launched a scathing attack on speed camera partnerships. He stated that the police had "lost the argument" over speed cameras and blamed them for wrecking the force's relationship with the public.
"I think the police service has really suffered some really serious confidence problems, and support from the public, as a result."

Sheffield Today — Speed Cameras Halt Goodwill For Police
BBC — Police chief's speed camera fears
ABD — Sheffield

2004-Feb-10
Tories
back 80 on
motorways
The Conservative party is backing calls for the motorway speed limit to be increased to 80mph. Shadow transport secretary Damian Green has tabled an amendment to the government's Traffic Management Bill. A similar amendment has also been tabled by backbench Labour MP, John Mann, with a proposal that limits are reduced in bad weather, a situation long in effect on German autobahns.

BBC — Tories propose 80mph M-way limit
ABD — Submission for the Raising of the Motorway Speed Limit

2004-Jan-18
Dishonour
Amongst
Thieves
The dishonour to which parking parasites will descend, has reached new depths after they submitted fake photographs to a court to try and get a prosecution on a driver who had legally parked on a Sunday. NCP is the parking parasite contracted by Bury Council to enforce parking regulations in Bury. NCP & Bury Council submitted two photographs to the court, claiming one had been taken before the Sunday showing free parking had been revoked, and one after. But parking ajudicator Sarah Breach found both photographs were identical except that one had been made black & white and had the date altered, in an attempt to fool the court. The driver is now asking for them to be prosecuted for tampering with evidence.

Manchester Online — Parking firm 'doctored' photo evidence

2004-Jan-18
Edinburgh
'Congestion
Charging'
Fiasco
Edinburgh City Council claims to have sent out 600,000 information leaflets on the city's congestion charging scheme. This was after promises that a million would be sent out. Only 2319 reponses have been received.
An earlier consulation scheme generated 8359 responses, but only 435 (5%) were supportive of the congesiton charge as against 6908 negative comments. The council and 'TIE' (a company the council set up to act as a scapegoat when the people of Edinburgh bring the whole sorry farce crashing down) are refusing to release a breakdown of the responses — so much for 'open government'.

Edinburgh Evening News (Opinion) — TIE-d up in knots
Edinburgh Evening News — Road ahead for tolls is mapped out
Edinburgh Evening News — Councils set to join forces against tolls
Edinburgh Evening News (Letters) — Council driving business from city
ABD — Edinburgh

2004-Jan-14
London to scrap 20% of speed cameras
20% of speed cameras in London are to be removed after a survey revealed they were not situated in accident blackspots. The survey was carried out by the 'Safety' Camera Partnership themselves. As these organizations are notoriously secretive and deceitful, the true extent of revenue cameras in London is doubtless even higher.

Evening Standard — One in five speed cameras scrapped


 
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