2006 Oct 14Ex-Cop
An ex-cop who was formerly the boss of the speed camera operation in Warwickshire and now runs a private company flogging speed cameras, has revealed the extent of the financial scam behind speed cameras. Ensnared by Mail on Sunday reporters posing as representatives of an East European company wanting to set up a speed camera racket in their country, Tele-Traffic boss Jon Bond said "There will be so much money coming in you won't know what to do with it."
He also revealed how new government rules were designed to ensure as much money as possible went straight to the treasury.
Mail on Sunday — Undercover probe reveals the 'buckets of money' made from speed cameras
ABD Press Release 507
2006 Sep 28Official:
Less Than 5%
The latest government report on road accidents shows that less than 5% of accidents involve vehicles exceeeding the speed limit.
The report ridicules the long proclaimed lie than 'one third' of accidents are caused by 'speeding'.
However, many journalists are being hoodwinked by the DfT who, in summarizing the report, have grouped 'exceeding a speed limit' with 'inappropriate speed for the conditions'. The latter depends upon road and weather conditions and has nothing to do with posted speed limits. It
is necessary to read the report in detail to discover the truth.
DfT — Road Casualties Great Britain: 2005
BBC — Road deaths and injuries falling
Daily Telegraph — Government is accused of using 'dodgy data'
Daily Telegraph — Has the danger of speeding been overplayed?
Evening Standard — Road safety watchdog slams 'dodgy' Gov. figures
MCN — Speed risk stats cut
Scotsman — One in five drivers killed is over drink limit
Times — Speed kills, but not as much as bad driving, figures show
2006 Sep 24Royal
In an appalling move which must have many of Britian's great scientists of the past turning in their graves, the Royal Society has sought to suppress scientific debate on climate change by calling on Esso to stop funding organizations that are skeptical about climate change.
In response to this unprecedented politicalization of the once respected Royal Society, Patrick Moore, a founder member of Greenpeace has written this public letter:
The Royal Society
6-9 Carlton House Terrace
London, England SW1Y 5AG
September 21, 2006
Dear Mr. Bob Ward,
I am in receipt of a copy of your letter to ExxonMobil in which you accuse them of misleading the public on the science of climate change.
I would be pleased to have your qualifications in science and to know how you have decided the question of human causation of global warming has been conclusively determined.
While I may agree with certain statements made by the IPCC, surely you and the Royal Society would respect my right to disagree with other statements or at least to call them into question.
You cite the IPCC as the authority yet surely you are aware that science does not work by committee or by "consensus."
Certainly the Royal Society would agree there is no scientific proof of causation between the anthropogenic increase in atmospheric CO2 and the recent global warming trend, a trend that has been evident for about 500 years, long before human-caused increase in CO2 was evident.
I am sure the Royal Society is aware of the difference between an hypothesis and a theory. It is clear the contention that human-induced CO2 e
missions and rising CO2 levels in the global atmosphere are the cause of the present global warming trend is an hypothesis that has not yet been elevated to the level of a proven theory. Causation has not been demonstrated in any conclusive way.
This is no doubt why the authors of the IPCC report use the word "likely" in their concluding statement "most of the global warming over the past 50 years is likely due to the increase in greenhouse gases."
Even more important, it is a fundamental precept in science that rigorous objection to "consensus" be encouraged in order to avoid "politically correct" conclusions that stifle dissent and intellectual exploration.
I say shame on the Royal Society - one of the world's top science bodies
- for allowing such a political "blame" letter to be sent. The correspondence smacks of a repressive and anti-intellectual attitude that can only harm our efforts to understand the true nature of climate change, both non-human and human in origin.
Please retract this letter and instead encourage debate and dialogue on this most important subject for the future of humankind and the environment
Patrick Moore, PhD
An advisor to government and industry, Dr. Patrick Moore is a co-founder and former leader of Greenpeace, and chair and chief scientist of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd. in Van
couver, Canada. www.GreenspiritStrategies.com
Guardian — Royal Society tells Exxon: stop funding climate change denial
A second letter has been sent to journalists by Royal Society Vice-President Sir David Wallace. In it he asks journalists to ignore those skeptical of climate change. Journalists with integrity will of course do no such thing.
Bob Ward's letter to Exxon [pdf]
David Whitehouse on Royal Society Efforts to Censor
Daily Telegraph — Global warming generates hot air
The Royal Society — Tell them what you think.
On 25th September, Bob Ward announced he was no longer employed by the Royal Society. If you know the truth about what is going on
here do please let us know.
2006 Jul 20Parallel
Plans to build a toll motorway parallel to the existing M6 between Birmingham and Manchester have been scrapped. The government wanted a private company to build it, but having seen the lack of commercial viability of the existing M6 Toll north of Birmingham, no-one was interested. The government, however, have proclaimed a plethora of other reasons why it was scrapped, including the ridiculous claim that building an entirely seperate road would cause significant disruption to the existing M6!
The government now plans to widen the existing M6 to four lanes each way, causing ten years of road works, congestion, and lower speed limits doubtless enforced by speed cameras to help pay for the cost of building the road.
BBC — Plans to extend M6 toll scrapped
The Scotsman — No new tolls on improved M6
2006 Jul 8Have
As the saga of speed camera mis-manag
ement rapidly descends into farce, a campaigner has discovered that every single speed camera prosecution may have been illegal. 'Robbie The Pict' who campaigned for the abolition of the extortionate tolls on the Skye Bridge, has found that the Road Traffic Act 1991 required that the Secretary of State for Transport had to place before Parliament a 'Statutory Instrument' approving each type of speed camera or speed measuring device. No record of any such orders has been found.
The Road Traffic Act 1991 (Section 23) requires a degree in law to understand, and let's face it, even if this failure to follow legal procedure is true, our inherently dishonest government will find some pet judge to declare that it isn't.
Press & Journal — Robbie The Pict Goes to War Against Speed-Camera Laws
SafeSpeed — An interesting new challenge to speed camera evidence
2006 Jul 5Judge
In another blatant example of the lack of independence of the Judiciary, a judge has declared that parking fines are not fines.
He also declared that the National Parking Adjudication Service are independent, despite the fact that they receive 55p for every penalty charge notice issued.
Campaigner Robin de Crittenden has been arguing that the Bill of Rights (a law dating from 1689) makes parking fines illegal, and had called for a Judical Review.
2006 Jul 4Another
A quarter of a million drivers may be entitled to cancellation of points, refund of £9M of fines, and compensation, after a court ruled that a speeding prosecution in Cleveland was illegal. Forms sent out by the police were illegally worded, and had not been signed by someone authorised to do so on behalf of the chief constable. The decision may have repercussions for every speeding prosection in Cleveland since 1998.
Dr Will Dehany who appealed against his prosecution said:
"I expected to win because the evidence
was pretty overwhelming. Everything was wrong about this case. I would not recommend that people try to get off speeding fines on technicalities, but this was not just a technicality, it was an abuse of police power. If I had lost today, it would have cost me about £1,000, and that's why nobody appeals, because only a fool like me is prepared to lose £1,000. I did it for the common man and for justice for motorists everywhere."
Northern Echo — Speeding drivers poised for reprieve
BBC — Campaigners hail speed appeal win
ABD — Talivan Incompetence
SafeSpeed — Forum for people claiming fines and points back
2006 Jul 2Revealing
In the state of Victoria, Australia, the use of speed camera vans during late evening are to withdrawn
after a series of attacks on operators.
Making a Freudian slip of astronomical proportions, Police Minister Tim Holding (Labor) said:
"The Government condemns utterly any member of the public who tries to take the law into their own hands by attacking Tenix operators"
— making it abundantly clear who he thinks are the real criminals.
Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder (Liberal) made an equally amazing gaffe by admitting:
"The decision will leave a dent in the Government's revenue that will most likely be filled by the allocation of more speed cameras to busy roads at peak times."
Speed camera vans in Victoria are operated by a private company, Tenix Solutions, a division of Tenix. You won't be surprised to learn they also carry out parking enforcement — even if you're dead. No wonder people throw bricks at them.
Melbourne Herald Sun — Speed cams ban
2006 May 8Lords
In a refreshing turn around from the usual driver-bashing practice in the UK, three law lords have thrown out an attempt by police to prosecute a driver for warning other drivers of a speed trap.
Avon & Somerset Police had tried to do HGV driver Charles Glendenning for 'wilful obstruction', but Mr Justice Owen said there was no evidence that any of the drivers warned had been breaking the speed limit.
He went on to say that ‘some people might think the police ought to appreciate the
efforts of others to prevent speeding’.
The amount of public money wasted by the crown prosecution service in pursuing their petty vendetta was not revealed.
The Scotsman — Lords back lorry driver who warned of speed trap
BAILII — High Court Decision
2006 Apr 5More
The latest hot air from the government is the claim that road charging is 'essential to reduce pollution'. Previously road charging was 'essential to
reduce congestion', but as their own surveys indicated nobody believed them, they've decided to try the emotive angle, claiming that pollution (of an unspecified type) reduces life expectancy by 8 months. Given that their own statement points out a difference in life expectancy between 69.3 years for men in Glasgow, and 85.8 years for men in Kensington & Chelsea, it is clear that whatever pollution they are talking about is of little consequence compared to other factors.
Plans to scrap old cars are mentioned, despite the volume of such vehicles being of no consequence — the plan is merely an attack on the owners of such vehicles.
They are also plan legislation to reduce home and office pollution, though details of what control freakery this will involve are not given.
Guardian — New rules for energy use in homes on the cards
2006 Mar 18Radar
Geoffrey Biddulph, the senior Home Office civil servant in charge of policing Britain's roads, has admitted that police radar guns are unreliable.
Thousands of innocent drivers may have fallen victim to inaccurate speed readings that may have resulted in th
em being fined and even deprived of their licence and job.
Daily Mail — Speed guns do lie
2006 Mar 9Ladyman
In a bizarre revelation that illustrates the lack of joined up thinking in the minds of those who govern us, Steven Ladyman, Roads Minister, has admitted that he uses a GPS based speed camera warning device in his car.
The Newspaper — 5.4 Million Drivers Have Driving License Points
2006 Mar 1Erskine
The Scottish Executive have announced that Tolls on the Erskine bridge west of Glasgow (map) are to be scrapped from 31st March 2006.
There was no such good news for users of the
Forth and Tay bridges, though a proposed increase on the Forth Bridge was rejected.
Plans are also to be made for a new bridge to replace the existing Forth Road Bridge which is suffering from corrosion problems.
The Scotsman — A tale of two crossings as cities react to toll decisions
BBC — Bridge tolls shake-up announced
The Scotsman — The new bridge - an idea whose time has come
National Alliance Against Tolls — Scotland
2006 Feb 20Scotland's
Over 200,000 drivers in Scotland's big cities are rebelling over the 'decriminalized parking' scam. The government took parking enforcement away from the police and traffic wardens, and handed it to local authorities who in turn handed it on a plate to private enforcement companies. These companies are motivated purely to make a profit for their shareholders, they have no concept
of right and wrong.
Tickets outstanding are:
• Edinburgh 72,140
• Glasgow 71,315
• Aberdeen 57,000
• Dundee, 10,303
By stark contrast, in Inverness where parking is still dealt with by the police, there are only 294 tickets outstanding.
The Scotsman — 200,000 drivers defy parking fines
ABD — Parking
2006 Feb 18Camo-Cams
The government is threatening road safety by proposing to allow speed cameras to be camoflaged so as to make them harder to spot. This will only force drivers to spend more time looking out for them rather than paying attention to real hazards.
Worse still, they are proposing to allow cameras to be placed where there have been no accidents. They are giving the safety camera partnerships a licence to print money.
The proposals represent a serious step backwards and show that government simply cannot be trusted to keep its word.
The Times — Go slow: police win the right to camouflage speed cameras
2006 Feb 16Swiss
Displaying a degree of common sense no longer found in Britain, authorities in Switzerland are taking a 9 year old girl to court after she caused a traffic accident.
A spokesman for the public prosecutor's office explained it was usual to deal with children involved in road accidents in this manner, as it shows them what they did wrong and prevents them from being involved in accidents in the future.
The ABD considers that the main purpose of this initiative is to generate publicity that will serve to warn other children that they must take care on the roads, and will thus help to prevent other accidents.
Ananova — Girl, 9, in court for road accident