This letter was sent to the ABD's Chairman, Brian Gregory, in June 2001. The sender said that he and a group of serving Police officers had written it. We have no written evidence to prove this, nor the names of the officers concerned, and there are elements of the letter about which we would like to know more. However, we have reproduced it in full here because we believe it raises some important issues which need addressing.

As a result of the writer's expressed wish for anonymity, all references to places, roads, and any other text that may have been abused by those who seek to suppress freedom of speech and the truth, has therefore been hidden or altered. These amendments are marked thus.

Due to the length of this letter, you may wish to save it and read it off line.

 

Dear Sir,

Speed enforcement — time to reveal what's happening.

Speed enforcement is the new face of Britain in the next decade. We are very concerned about the direction in which the country is going. Slowly but surely it is changing into something we don't recognise anymore. We do not like it, we have become a tool of central and local government, not to mention unrepresentative minority pressure groups in this country. Remember there are 26 million drivers in the UK.

There is a strategic, government level plan to increase indiscriminate targeting of the motorist by stealth, technology and subterfuge all in the name of catch phrases like, Casualty Reduction . Do not misunderstand, most decent people are against inappropriate speeds in certain areas. But things have developed to such a degree that the last straw is about to be reached, we predict a massive reaction by the public as a result of all the new schemes and campaigns to detect and punish errant drivers. Who are these drivers? Well, you and me and our families basically.

Since April 2000 the chances of losing your licence your job and your income got a big step closer. Guaranteed that many of your readers will have been had before this gets to print. The previous unofficial thresholds for speeding, such as 42 in a 30 limit, 48 in a 40, 68 in a 50 and 86-90 in a 70 limit will be reduced to 33, 44, 54, 64, 75 in every police force around the UK.

The latest Consultation Paper issued by DETR, The Home Office and the Lord Chancellor's Office on Road Traffic Penalties (due for implementation after March 9th 2001) should make the strongest citizen go weak at the knees.

There are 8 participating forces that can keep the fixed penalty fines. The penalty will shortly be going up from £40 to £60, and after March £90 with short sharp terms of disqualification, vehicle impounding or clamping by private companies. The recent TV programme about London Wheel dampers and the thought of Jobsworths coming to your business premises or home and clamping your family vehicle, will cause so much civil unrest and animosity that we will be employed sorting out violence and public order situations as a result of this instead of catching burglars and other criminals.

Your readers will have experienced the massive onslaught to attain certain results. Predicted this last year but no-one wanted to hear in my area. By the way, the results are already assured. Police Force have set aside £over 1m of the police budget to ensure that ACPO and government targets will be met. All the fines will be kept and ploughed back into buying more Laser Cameras and GATSO's. Not one Chief Constable will fail to reach the HO targets and national objectives. Because they get marked on results and the chiefs lose salary/ budget according to how efficient or inefficient they are. The Cash Register (sorry, Casualty Reduction) officers for each force will not fail to get income for our bosses.

The Superintendent in Cleveland has gone public in saying that: "Speed cameras are everywhere so if you continue to speed you WILL get caught". His force will be profitable for sure. In a contest it's either motorist pays or lower police budgets — you see who wins.

The reason my colleagues are so disillusioned is this.

The chief officers together with ministers have decided that to achieve the casualty reductions the message to be sent out is "Speed Kills!" and is socially unacceptable, to the extent that drivers will be afraid to do anything other than keep eyes glued to the speedometer. Couple of points here, it is INAPPROPRIATE speed in wrong places that kills, not speed on it's own. Not referring here to chronic, dangerous offenders.

Also, as a Road Safety issue, drivers are encouraged to observe the road and not to use mobiles phones, CD players or, horror of horrors munch a Kit Kat ( alright, it was a Chunky). How does constantly watching your dashboard speedometer contribute to road safety? Shall be waiting to attend the first RTA where the driver states "she must have run out when I was watching my speedo officer...".

One driver said recently, "My speedo has digits and no needle, and has to be watched almost constantly, I used to be able to see the old needle out of the corner of my eye, now I have to keep constant watch just to see what I'm doing. The digits change constantly, it's a nightmare" Another said, "I used to enjoy motoring but now it is too expensive and the anxiety of being watched, filmed and prosecuted at the drop of a hat virtually anywhere depresses me". This can't be good for safety. I have to agree that enforcing the letter of the law will cause more trouble than operating within the spirit of the law. Nobody can be that exact unless you re on rails and your engine governed. A businessman told me that his fleet of vehicles are now at risk of being clamped and he could lose jobs because of these lunatic rules dreamed up by some non-driving prat in Whitehall.

So, drivers on the local patch will soon be looking in their mirrors, looking at overhead bridges, looking at vans in lay-bys, looking back behind bridge arches and looking at speedometers instead of concentrating on the road ahead, and maybe even enjoying motoring as a past-time instead of a gauntlet to run. We have been told to deploy our cameras anywhere we can to get fines in . So it is the most catchable places you will find us — not in the most dangerous places.

Another point here, if your more astute readers care to check the accident black-spots for their locality they will see that nearly all collisions occur at junctions, crossings, and places where speed just isn't an issue. So, it would be fair to ask, "Will the new technology be used to deter speeding at accident black-spots to reduce casualty figures ?" Well, no, at least not in 9 out of 10 cases because it was not speed that caused the accidents, but careless or poor driving. Can tell you now that speed traps will be set up anywhere that drivers can be detected. The message must get across. No Chief Officer will want to be bottom of the league (crime detection figures excepted, that is). When the numbers caught begins to drop in a particular area, then we will move to another fishing zone.

If pedestrian conflict with motor vehicles is such a high priority why don't we have such offences as Jay Walking like in the USA and Germany? Pedestrians are a real potential for causing accidents and as such, casualties. This would drastically reduce pedestrian injuries — never dealt with any vehicles mounting the pavement to get at people. Walkers have paths and pavements, horses have bridleways, but you just know that drivers are to blame, always.

Drivers are always the villains, never animals, horse riders or pedestrians.

You may have guessed the newest camera technology cannot detect dangerous, poor, careless or inappropriate driving. They can only detect speed. Simply put, the campaign will entail police officers, (paid for by the recent increases in Council Taxes, 50% in 4 years) to act as snipers in concealed places, not to deter, but to bring in the much needed revenue. The money is needed by the way. If you knew how much was wasted through inefficiency and end of year spends you would agree we need the money.

All colleagues feel this exercise is not much more than a nice little earner. The real incentive to get more results is the fact we can keep and re-invest the finance. Easy life policing is the way ahead. We are the Revenue Rangers or the Traffic Tax Troopers. We don't like it.

The press has reported last summer that Community Councils are spending local taxpayers money on buying new speed cameras. In other words spending local peoples money, over which they have no say, £17,000 on one new gizmo for us to catch you speeding (35mph) through your own village. The first headline was "74 speeders caught with new camera bought by council". But it's not about numbers is it?

Rural communities cannot be policed properly as we've seen recently, so how do the public feel when they can be attacked in their homes and get a poor response from the constabulary, but if the same house holder or farmer does 47mph in his Landrover there ll be an unmarked Transit van and two patrol cars waiting for him around the corner. Where are we going, and what sort of message are we sending out?

You will hear "it is not a numbers game". Of course it is. A lot of roadside signs at the start of towns and villages tell of the number of drivers who have been caught last month i.e. 500. Only speeding numbers are measurable so it is about numbers. When the first reports are due it is only the number of drivers and riders who have broken the new lower thresholds that will be mentioned, not how many casualties have been prevented. It's impossible to say an accident would have occurred or it ceases to be an accident.

Been at meetings where we've been told we are not playing a numbers game. The newspaper issued by Police Force last year quoted a senior officer as saying, "...not targetting motorists..." and "...deny seeking money from speeding fines...". Party line folks. On the same day we read this, the evening news had a Police Force spokesperson stating they had got nearly 1000 speeders on the M# in a few hours. All the drivers were doing over 50 mph and if left to their own devices would inevitably have completed their journeys and not added to the casualty statistics. So at £40 a time that's £36,000 for no work at all. A couple of weeks later and the same happy face was gloating over another nearly 500 victims on the motorway. That's a total of over £50,000 for 7 hours sitting in the back of a white make van. But it's not about numbers was what the senior officer said in the article. Wait 'til you see Line 300 introduced — read on.

It was pathetic, not just because over a 1000 new criminals had been created, but because it flies in the face of everything we have been spinning to the public. Namely, it's all in aid of casualty reduction , and it's not a numbers game , when the truth is almost the exact opposite. Remember, everyone is 3 or 4 clicks away from being disqualified. Higher insurance, more expense, more worry, more disqualified drivers and so it goes on. How do we measure the social casualties that will be the product of this fund raising scheme?

You can say speed kills until the cows come home, but consider this.

Years of traffic engineering and surveys have proved that drivers travelling at the 85th to 90th percentile speeds have the lowest accident rates of any group of drivers. Speed limits should be set to cater for the design speed of the road. The 85th percentile speed of traffic (meaning that 85% of motorists are travelling at or below that speed) or slightly higher has generally been found to be the safest level to set speed limits.

To emphasise the point, where the speed limit was raised in certain US states by 10 mph, the 85th percentile was 72 mph in a 70 limit. The accident rate dropped by 30%. On other roads where the limit was raised by 5 mph accident rates similarly dropped by 39%, and the 85th percentile was only 1 mph over the limit. How about that then, Transport 2000?

Two things were clear, drivers were able to concentrate on driving instead of the plague of enforcement devices and secondly because drivers knew that higher speeds were permissible they allowed extra room between vehicles and their sense of anticipation was keener. Also, there was greater complicity with the lower limits because drivers were given higher limits to drive within once they left a built-up area. Fact — when we slow everyone down, frustration will be the result, plus drivers will travel closer to each other and numerous collisions will occur. Just as water finds its own level so does the flow of traffic. If its appropriate for vehicles to travel at 90 on the motorway or a free flowing dual-carriageway, then no problem. If it's inappropriate then the traffic will flow at the speed for the circumstances, be it 40, 50 or 60 mph.

Studies on these lines have shown the 85th to 90th percentile of the speed of traffic is the safest speed. So why aren't we following the model and raising limits where they should be? Money. It must be raised to supplement shortfalls in LA and police budgets.

The public will very quickly see through the hypocrisy of this and our job will made harder to do in the long run. This will set us back years. The Government is taking, taking, taking. That breeds resentment, animosity and also gives the police force far too much power to snoop.

Changing the speed limit has a vastly insignificant impact on the way people drive. Changing laws and speed limits only alter the number of people who break the law. The design speed of a road and a vehicle coupled with common sense make the safe speed self-regulating.

Adjusting speeds on roads to match the 85th and 90th percentile will actually reduce fatalities and accident rates. Lower limits and draconian enforcement could increase the accident and fatality rates.

If sensible limits were set then speed traps would be- rare. Speed traps will flourish when normal safe driving and overtaking actions are outlawed. It's so obvious but no one will come right out and say it because job security, career prospects and salaries/budgets are at risk and nobody will rock the boat.

You will have heard Chief Constable Brunstrom say recently that we need more speed cameras, paint them yellow, then when they ve worked we ll take some away . Sure. Sounds too good to be true. It is. The cameras will be black, grey, green and hidden like they are now. The Chief will get his Knighthood and probably Commissioner of the Met. as well. Shortly, everyone will realise what the Government is up to and what we, the police, have been told to do. The cameras will stay. Said this at various meetings when this campaign started that, if the statistics showed a fall in RTA's we would be asking for more cameras, and if there was rise in RTA's we would be asking for more cameras. It was so obvious, but the paying motorist could not see it then.

Revenue raising and surveillance is the game, the public will never know if casualties were reduced or not because it's impossible to do. At the current rate we can afford a new camera on every road within a year or so.

The offences that are difficult to prove such as drinking after hours and alcohol abuse and so-called soft drug use are easily remedied. We just extend licensing hours and de-criminalise class B drugs. Taking numerous crimes out of the system. Why then, is it that speed thresholds are reduced and many more people introduced to the system? It is because we can use technology without discretion and collect hundreds of thousands of pounds a week. We can't do the same with the too hard to detect offences.

It is scientifically impossible to say that X-amount of accidents have been prevented by speed detection. Because no one can say that Y accidents would have occurred in the first place. What will happen is this. Drivers will avoid all the camera sites (until there are no free roads left) so that by definition vehicle flow rates will decline in certain areas and then the figures for RTA's will tend to prove the proponents of the revenue guns right. The PhotoCop campaign will be a success because the objective is to get money to buy more cameras to catch more drivers to get more cameras, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

Northampton has bought the new S.P.E.C.S. system for £600,000 which links 12 cameras direct to a central computer and the DVLA. Another 12 are being commissioned. Each camera can detect and identify 3 vehicles per second and can have your ticket(s) in the post before you finish your journey. Get three on the same journey and you will be disqualified before you get home. The police service has never been that efficient in the past at any aspect of police work so you can't knock it. The system is expected to realise around £60m in return for the investment. Not bad, but then we are a business now.

Think that's an over estimate? Check out the figures for City, they were running at 8,000 tickets per month last year. At £40 a go that's £320,000 or at £60 (up 50%) it's £480,000 per month. Multiply that by every city and county council area and it's millions upon millions. If any other organisation had such a monopoly on an income-raising scheme there would be questions in the house and the ombudsman would be called in.

Just when you thought this could not get any worse — Take the Line 300 , a new high-tech speed camera from France, unveiled recently. It will catch a thousand times as many speeding British motorists as at present. The new French radar links a laser, with a range of one and a half miles, to an ultra-fast digital camera, sending the image of the speeders number plate into a computer. So if you think we re kidding work out the fact that in 1998 200,000 motorists were caught, in 1999 it was 500,000 and last year 900,000. So multiply that by 1,000 when the new Line 300 comes on board and that's 900 million more tickets at average £75 (60+90/2=75) making a grand total of £6,750,000,000. It's not the money — it's accident figures you understand.

A glimmer of sense comes from South Yorkshire where the Traffic Dept. has published a site map of all the camera locations because they do NOT want to catch speeders they only want to prevent speeding in certain areas. We hope this approach will be the norm otherwise the alienation between us and motorists will hugely increase just when it was beginning to improve. Not so in City, where cameras are mushrooming and hidden behind square grey road signs. Deterrent? Proving yet again it is to catch and fine not to deter and to stop speeding. In fact if 10%+2 speeding does cease, what will the next level of control be? Dread to think. But the money must come in.

Drive into City from the North or the West. You will pass 7 Gatso's within a mile on Road and Road alone, but it's not a numbers game. Honest.

If every force embraces the 10%+2 rule motorists in Region will soon feel the draft. We had hoped that our force would do something different and show that common sense with education and a softly, softly approach can do more for road safety than acting as collectors for inefficient LA's. If not then the next signs you ll see will be Welcome to Region, please make cheques payable to The Chief Constable. City may as well put these signs up 'City welcomes careless drivers'.

Please do not misunderstand, we joined to enforce the law, so does every officer. But it was policing by consent and after Lord Scarman, we thought we consulted with the community to see what the public concern was, then address it. Every survey seen shows the top ten fears and public concerns as including, assault, burglary, rape, benefit fraud, theft, mugging, criminal damage, disorderly and threatening behaviour etc. Never seen a survey that said vehicle speed was in their top ten. The odd exception being residents in a particular street or village (who ironically are the very ones who get caught when we do our speed checks at their request!)

You may query the level of discretion and partiality that applies now that income is the motive. There seems to be a pecuniary incentive, previously not present, which raises questions as to the real reasoning behind this process. There is an indecent interest and energy being put into this campaign due to monetary gain. No other national objective has been dealt with in such a way, because all the others costed money. Anybody can see that.

Let me quote a local example of our current approach and one which our unit was involved in around a local area at the beginning of March last year.

It was the first Sunday in Month in the afternoon, and an officer was instructed by a supervisor to go and do the Sunday bikers. (No prejudice you understand) So he went and set up the equipment in a de-restricted zone, no schools, no children, no animals, no residences of note, and just waited. Sure enough within an hour over 50 of those terrible bikers were in the bag. Every one will get a ticket, some will lose licences (and you may say serve them right) and some will lose jobs and income. Why mention this?

Well, these bikers mostly meet in my local bus depot, have a cup of tea then go for a ride. If they rode over 60 mph in the town we would be the first to say lock em up and you would too. Funnily enough they ride fairly sedately through the town (they know the score by now) then increase only when the de-restriction signs appear. (This is not endorsing a free for all zone, but the common sense rule can apply).

We know this and so do our bosses. We re not supposed to be prejudiced but the Traffic Dept. policy is "All bikers are fair game". Sad, but true.

Incidentally, most bikers are 30's — 40's and do not pose a threat to the public at large. It is fair to say that recently we have had a couple of fatalities that has prompted a crackdown. But, by and large these are victimless crimes with no losers, no malice, no injury, no motives. There are always a couple of nutters who spoil it for everyone.

Most of the Traffic officers cannot understand why these drastic cuts in speed thresholds have been made and why they have to be enforced. In fact the majority don't agree with them. If it's any consolation one of them said a couple of days ago "We ll have to start booking each other then, because we do over 80 and 30 ourselves".

The explanation is this. Just over year ago the Transport Minister and Prime Minister announced that they were going to take no action regarding speed limits. We thought that was strange after all the fuss. There was a little protest from the usual suspects in the rural areas and the pedestrian associations then it went quiet.

Then what happened? A directive went to all Chief Police officers to target speeders. (Lie, and then do it.)

So the government and local authorities could get reduced speed but without the costs of new Traffic Regulations (each Traffic Order costs over £2,000). The government doesn't get the flack "it's down to the police" is what they say. The local authorities get what they want, traffic calming but without the implementation of humps, traffic lights, bollards etc all of which costs money.

The answer, very cunningly is to drop it all on the police and use fear as the ultimate traffic calmer. Contradiction in terms. Here's the acid test — has your own level of concern about driving increased recently?. Why didn't someone ask those of us who have to enforce this system? Speeding is not an exact science, but detecting and fining people is — you just set up the device, lower the thresholds and there it is. If you knew how much revenue we generated before April lst, 2000 you d be amazed. Compare it with post April and the country will be up in arms. We ll keep you posted. It shouldn't be a secret with all the emphasis on freedom of information etc. Strange how this safety campaign coincided with the new financial year.

Everyone here reckons it's a strike at people's freedom. Make the cost of driving, insuring, parking, emissions, & speeding so prohibitive it will eventually ration the number of motorists and where they can go. Worrying.

Put simply — speeding is the easiest offence to detect, identify perpetrators, summons them, and get the money. There is hardly anything to prove, no mens-rea (guilty knowledge) and virtually no defence. Policing by Objectives and Priority Policing does not enter into this offence strategy. The targets (you) are hooked into the system easy to locate and obviously have cash. It would be no good chasing people who cannot pay. When prison and clamping for speeders are involved it will make hunting with hounds seem very acceptable by comparison.

The new catch phrase is Policing by Virtual Reality because we just sit and press buttons — the technology does the rest. No confrontation, no excuses, no discretion. No problem. Well, not at the moment anyway.

It occurs to us that bobbies on the ground will get the backlash when it starts, as more and more people are criminalised by the system. There will be the noisy lobby that will see just one perceived casualty reduction and say, It was worth it . Moreover, when the police authority budget suddenly gets inflated by the anticipated £ millions there will be no going back. Here's a thought — what if all the soon to be disqualified drivers become pedestrians and start getting knocked down because they re not used to walking — that would be ironic.

You should know that because of congestion, pollution and other related issues such as no new roads , the government really wants less drivers on the road. How do you suppose that might happen? One critical incentive is this. A typical police budget of around £100m will lose £81m straight away in salary and pensions. Some local forces have to limit the number of officers who can officially go out on the sick because Chief Constables just cannot afford it. This poses another thought, how much money could be gained by reducing the sick, lame, lazy from the job? it's a bit embarrassing being in a force that has almost the lowest crime detection rate in the UK (not far from bottom) and our neighbouring force with one of the worst sickness history in the country. If someone totalled it up it could probably pay for all the casualty costs in Region.

The bottom line is this, when police forces start to rely more and more on the new found income by fixed penalties, gradually the Police Authority budget will take this into account when fixing the budget and there ll be no going back. So, whether we like it or not the campaign will succeed, must succeed, (has succeeded already) it's all a bit academic.

Where does this leave your readers and officers like me (with families who also drive) who are very sceptical about the real issues? Well read on it gets worse.

The Hate the Car groups (all with hidden agendas or axes to grind) want to introduce £2000 fines for excessive speeding and IMPRISONMENT for those who go 30mph above the limit. Now 60 in a 30 limit is mad, but 100 on a motorway? Jail?. You can begin to see what we mean, set unreasonable limits and margins and you criminalise ordinary citizens. Well, these 50 or so people are getting their way — look at the Consultation Paper it's all there. If 26 million drivers, the voters, have a say in this paper the results might be more rational and appropriate.

Here's the insanity — this country gives child pornographers less than 3 months in jail, lets OUT of jail convicted terrorists, murders and bombers — guilty of the most heinous of crimes against humanity, but all back on the street. Then, in a perverse sort of way making room for the drivers and riders of this nation to go to jail for a 5 or 10 second burst of speed.

There will always be the odd occasion of exceptionally bad high speed driving and that can be dealt adequately under existing regulations.

However, if you thought it was only about speeding you d be wrong. Speed detection is a by-product of something else. The Trojan Horse is speed detection.

Consider this:- you leave home, taking your mobile phone, credit switch card with you and travel along A and M class roads. Several things will happen — your vehicle will pass by ANR cameras (Automatic Numberplate Recognition) this will identify your car and registered keeper via DVLA, and your speed. Your mobile phone will send/v receive scanning signals that will tell the network provider what zone you re in. The new transmitter technology will send and receive pulses to selected mobiles on the move which will tell how fast and what direction you are going. Also, when you use your credit and debit cards it will record who you are, where you were and what you bought. So on a single journey certain people could know so much about you it's hardly credible. Couple that with the picture of your face and your passenger's face through the windscreen (ever wondered why in some countries dark tinted screens are illegal?) and the fact that Europe wishes to inflict satellite control of your engine and brakes and the whole picture gets sinister.

Need to re-state something here — all officers are in favour of sensible speed limits in appropriate areas and properly enforced. We consider that if certain limits were tightened or reduced near vulnerable sites such as schools, colleges, old folks homes etc, and by contrast other limits were extended such as most dc-restricted roads and urban dual carriageways, you would find a strange thing happening. Most limits would be self-enforcing because of a sensible and rational approach to speed issues. To say in an emotive way that Speed Kills!, does nothing but spin it out of all proportions. It is BAD DRIVING that kills, not speed. After all, speed is speed, so speed does not necessarily kill, it's what accompanies it. it's not right to say drink kills, or drugs kill etc, but improper and excessive use of both may kill.

If you drive badly and recklessly you deserve everything you get.

How many of your readers have ever been nearly stacked by a speeder ? Not many. But, how many have been bumped or shaken by thoughtless, doddering, aggressive and poor drivers? Loads.

There's bad news and very bad news. When you ve all slowed in the 30, 40, 50 and 70 limits the only way to maintain income is to target 60 de-restricted areas. This will really hurt because of the false sense of security i.e. no hazards, no danger and no obvious reasons for going slowly. Once all the regions have been covered, the thresholds will be lowered and the extra cameras funded by yourselves will be increased so that, taking the natural course, every couple of miles of highway will be totally controlled by enforcement cameras. The equipment will never be mothballed because it costs so much. The only solution will be zero tolerance, then reduction in actual limits and so on. The money must roll in.

Look out after dark you drivers. Be afraid at night, be very afraid. Transits with Infra Red — ouch.

If you think I'm being pessimistic consider how many Gatsos and other devices there were 10 years ago. Then how many 5 years ago, and how many there are now? It has to be done gradually so that you all accept the inevitable without a grumble. Remember when you had water free, now you pay and don't think about it. Remember when petrol was 50p a gallon? Now, it's £4 of which 85% is tax for the government. If nobody challenges this current philosophy now there will be a spread of controlling and enforcement devices like a virus. Every street and roadway will be a tax collection point. The things to listen out for are the denials.

When you hear phrases like, we are adopting a cautious approach, no way will there be carte-blanche on speed cameras , if the scheme fails we ll remove the cameras . Look out! There is a method, leak the worst case scenario, deny it, then do it. The public is psychologically conditioned to accept whatever happens then.

This same approach applied to speeding enforcement.

1. Government announce lower speed limits all over the country. Shock horror.

2. then it announces it will not touch speed limits — phew, big sigh — then

3. in comes Casualty Reduction. Slam Dunk, game set and match to the Director of Finance for Local Authorities and Police. Didn't even see it coming, did you?

Incidentally, we heard of one officer from another force who had an idea: why not change the Construction & Use Regs so that all vehicle number plates include your banking account, sort code details, that way we can do a direct debit and reduce paperwork? Sounds farcical — watch this space.

You will recall the Wheel Clampers of London, (the private goons with all the compassion squeezed out)? Well, in Northampton the SPECS system will be run by civvies and it won't be long before all speed cameras will be set and run by them. It will be even cheaper to operate and the returns, given the non-discretionary and indiscriminate control measures, will be high. Good for business. The new Consultation Paper is gearing up for the Private Companies to come and immobilise your family vehicle. It will happen without doubt.

This climate of fear will do more harm than good. Time will tell.

It was deemed that making a gallon of petrol (incidentally about 48p to buy) nearly £4.00 would change peoples driving habits. Well it did — it made people spend more of their disposable income on fuel tax. It did ~ alter their driving.

We attend many fatalities and we do not minimise or understate such a tragic occurrence, but no amount of knee jerk reactions and nannying by the State will help matters. It makes no sense however, to see careless or even dangerous driving dealt with more trivially than speeding. Have your readers noticed that the word speed in an article immediately conjurs up emotive issues before you even read further on. This is part of the problem and one which campaigners have latched on to. Once the emotion is removed, then an objective and rational approach can be taken. Most accidents and injuries do not involve excessive speed. Fact. But this won't deflect the revenue guns from pointing your way.

Casualty reduction involves a whole range of issues such as:

  1. Stopping pedestrians from causing conflict with vehicles on highways. Jay Walking offences.

  2. Preventing children playing ball games, roller-blading, skateboarding etc on the highway. (no insurance, no control, and the motorist foots the bill)

  3. Ensuring highways depts. fill all the potholes in and remove gravel after roadworks.

  4. Stopping horse-riders from using de-restricted roads and dual-carriageways.

  5. Reporting owners of dogs not on a lead.

  6. Catching and removing all stray animals from the highways.

  7. Dealing with farmers who allow stray sheep and cattle on our roads.

  8. Dealing with LGV's that deposit diesel fuel on roundabouts and exits from filling stations.

  9. Lane discipline on motorways and dual carriageways.

  10. Regular and prompt gritting and salting.

  11. Distractions in vehicles used by parents on the largely unnecessary school run.

  12. Effects of drink and drugs on drivers. Especially the national health junkies who drive to the school and work each day, blissfully unaware they are influenced by prescription medications.

  13. Education campaigns at places where drivers and riders congregate.

Not much mention of speed but all of these contribute in a far greater way to casualties. However, none of these can be detected with a laser-gun, so there you have it. None of the above make popular headlines and none can ratchet up the revenue, so speeders get it.

Give and take in our opinion would work. Every motorist we speak to (we do speak to some when not on a stealth mission — honest) says the same thing, "we wouldn't mind 20-25 in some built up areas, but use common sense when speeds can be more appropriate for the location". Will those in power consider that? Probably not, because of the pressure from very small unrepresentative groups. That does not mean they do not have some validity in their arguments. But pressure can be applied equally from both sides. When the noose tightens how will the ordinary motorist respond?.

It would mitigate the situation if roads that don't cause a problem were left alone, however, the word is that no road will be left untouched because the financial incentives are too strong. Whether the electorate of the UK can do anything to stem this remains to be seen.

Question — What if every motorist responded by not accepting tickets at face value and requesting a court case?

This would mean the officer attending every case, bringing his/her pocket notebook and having to prove things like calibration times, dates and places. Even Home Office Type Approvals, (HOTA ) whilst almost impossible to overturn in court would still need to be proved. By the time each motorist has cross-examined the officer, each case would take half a morning. Multiply this by the 15-20,000 tickets per week in Region alone and you work it out.

Sorry, too late, the government are onto you people — the Consultation Paper this coming Spring takes care of that. It says the option of going to court must not be seen as a way of getting a lighter penalty. Unless a person pleads not guilty, the penalty must be higher and with costs to discourage people opting to attend Magistrates Court. Closed that one up too.

We can hear the cries of irresponsible from the emotional, prejudiced and uninformed sector, but history and future facts and figures will prove what we are saying is mostly correct.

Hype is no substitute for experience and knowledge.

Again we do not minimise the effects of a single casualty on our roads but please stop using that as the only noble cause in this matter.

Unfortunately, it will get a whole lot worse before it gets better — if ever. We wish all accidents could be prevented — full stop. Nobody wants casualties on our roads. But it is not going to stop, and certainly not by the injudicious use of cameras to clobber motorists. Then again, revenue generation is never a very pleasant subject. O.K. be honest — it's plain sneaky to sit like a mercenary waiting to pop off thousands of otherwise law abiding citizens.

Zero tolerance on speed limits would still not stop the chronic speeder from causing mayhem. So why restrict everyone for the sake of the few who will not respond? A familiar story.

Be assured there are comparison tables and there will be unofficial competition between different forces, you may have seen the officer in the West Country who has single handedly notched up several thousand tickets. He made the press not because he had prevented hundreds of accidents, but because he had racked up hundreds of thousands of pounds in fines. You will not be surprised to find there are quite a few local trigger happy bobbies slobbering at the chance to bring the chiefs a fat increase to the budget. Don't think that our Casualty Reductions Units have been established for nothing. They won't easily be disbanded like the Stolen Vehicle Squads were recently. The CRU's produce income, the others didn't. You can't blame the officers for wanting to make a big impression. it's a very clever government ploy and you must give them credit where it's due. Even the last (next?) lot couldn't have dreamed this up.

I just hope the people in power will have the honesty to admit what it's all about and not trot out the PC phrases and sound bites about the government doing all it can to reduce casualties . We could believe it if money wasn't involved.

If Region police forces are anything to go by, expect to be hit anywhere, anytime because the attitude is, and quoting a colleague, "If these people do 90 on the M# they will be the ones breaking the 30s". Pardon? it's uneducated and insulting — it denies that people have the ability to adapt their behaviour to situations and limits. it's like saying that in order to get rid of crows you need to shoot all the seagulls in the process. Neanderthal thinking, but that's where we are at.

By removing discretion, self-control and restraint you create an atmosphere of resentment and a guilty conscience even before a driver leaves home. Surely the driver who travels at 52 in a built up area, does 52 on a country road and 52 on the motorway is more of a menace than a driver who uses whole range of skills and abilities to drive progressively and judiciously in the appropriate places. It is all about appropriateness. we've been given a sledgehammer and nuts will crack.

You can put this one in the bank, if police forces were allowed to keep the money from recovery of stolen cars and motorcycles there would be a revolution overnight and detection rates would go through the roof. That takes up too much money and time. CPS will not go for any case with a less than 44% chance of conviction. So you can see why Fixers are good value for money. You just pay up. Did you know over £200m of motor vehicles have been stolen in region since 1996? Did you know that a large % will never be recovered? Ring your local station and find out which areas have a stolen vehicle squad and how much time they spend per month on this subject. Find out as well how many Fixers we have issued. Compare the two figures and write to your MP. Yes, we know all this new technology can detect stolen vehicles. We ll let you know next year, how many we've locked up for stealing whilst we've been sniping you. It won't be a very long list.

To put the record straight, we would love to lock up all the crooks and leave our streets safer. We do believe in Road Safety or we wouldn't be in the job. Numerous police departments are being diverted from core policing to satisfy the suits in offices. How long has it taken to try and eliminate racism, sexism, and prejudice from the police service? Hope it doesn't take that long to get some sense on traffic related issues.

The most frightening thing is that once the new catch-all laws are made, the relentless pursuit of catching and arresting a speeder will hit unprecedented heights. Once the penalty of imprisonment and disqualification's and huge fines accompanied by impounding of your vehicle becomes reality, then the frenzied investigation and helicopter pursuits will be seen as justified due to the serious nature of the offence . Other crimes which cannot be investigated as they re too resource intensive will be suitably sidelined while the motorist will be the Public Enemy. Technology rules, and while it brings in your hard-earned cash, expect it to spiral.

When Governments want to reduce the rising rates of crime, benefit fraud, hospital waiting lists and unemployment all they do is manipulate the recording processes that actually remove millions of numbers from the counting process. With speeding it's the opposite. Explanation — all the above stats. are bad for governments, so because they cannot deal with the cause they alter the recording and reporting mechanisms to exclude massive numbers that previously would have been included. The figures look better and — problem under control. But with speeders it's different. The high number of speeders is really quite good for the current campaign. As stated previously, high figures recorded = more cameras needed . More cameras, means more cash for hard-up police forces, means more cameras etc. This is the justification for getting a camera on every street . Once they are there they will stay. The photographs of occupants, live data, records of every vehicle that passes (whether tripped by speed or NOT) will all be stored on databases which can be accessed by police and civilians all over the UK.

Simple Table:-

Problem Remedy
Alcohol — drinking out of hoursExtend drinking hours — reduce chances to breach the law statistics on alcohol look better.
Teenage Pregnancy — worst in EuropeProvide abortion tablets to 10 year+ old girls. Reduce the numbers of teenage pregnancy — looks good.
Drug Abuse soft drugsCautions for Cannabis, bid to decriminalise — takes drug abuse figures down.
Unemployment too many on listDelete those not actively seeking employment etc.
Crime — too muchMake for example, 27 car crimes or burglaries in a street on the same day, a continuing offence so that it appears as one crime not 27.
Road Accidents too manyOnly record Injury RTAs — figures reduce dramatically.
Heating allowances for homes too expensiveRedefine who qualifies and reduce by, over 1 million, the number of qualifying homes.
Population growing too rapidlyLegalise abortion to include reasons of, gene deficiency, chromosome abnormality, fashion, financial, whatever, and kill over 400 babies every day in UK hospitals. These figures make a mockery of Casualty Reduction. 2,200 fatalities on the roads due to accidents. Over 150,000 babies killed in UK hospitals by design every year. That would be a Casualty target to reduce — trouble is — can't get those damned Laser Guns to detect that, and no £60 bounty each time either. Non starter really.

All the above are measures aimed at defining out crimes and statistics so as to make things look better than they are. It is the one exception below that makes this issue so controversial.

Speeding — too highLower Limits — which increases numbers of potential speeders, lower discretionary margins — increase numbers of speeders, more devices to catch motorist — increase numbers of speeding cases. Remember the Government EXPECT 500,000 of you to be disqualified this coming year, they ve accounted for it, expect and will ensure it happens.

* This is the only category where it's good to have the figures high so that politicians and police Chiefs can appeal on the grounds of public safety to get more cameras to get more money to buy more cameras. it's the only case to have measures introduced to increase the statistics. Six billion pounds income from new Line 300 cameras — think about it.

The motoring public will take it all lying down for a while. However, when, like the fuel price rip-off, they begin to react the results could lead to civil unrest. Consider if we, the police, had suggested 5 years ago that the local tax payers give us the money to buy surveillance cameras for every road in the UK, so we can photograph the front seat occupants of all vehicles, record their speed, direction, date and time of travel, and virtually their whole journey — what do you think the reaction would have been? Exactly.

So, it was done differently. Call it Casualty Reduction, and state the main cause of casualties as speeding drivers, and introduce the technology to enforce the campaign. Same result, but a more ingenious method of getting it through.

When we need to use binoculars or photographic equipment for crime observations we need the written authority of the Chief Constable to use such equipment in a public place. Why is it OK for local authorities and the like to set up photographic equipment that can capture your vehicle and facial features any time of day or night? The speeding figures, just like NHS waiting lists, unemployment and any other unpalatable statistics could be reduced overnight and get the police and the government off the hook. How? Just raise speed limits where it's appropriate to do so. That reduces drastically the bad figures overnight. They do it with every other result they don't like. So why not this campaign? Can you see it? it's the revenue and surveillance benefits — they outweigh every notion of common sense and propriety.

You might want to change some of the local details in this letter so as to avoid obvious ID. You can imagine the problems we would have. we've been up front with you, and you can check out anything said. If you want, ask the majority of Traffic Cops, off the record, what they think of this, if they re honest they ll tell you. We can predict there will be more effort in trying to find the authors of this letter than trying to fight crime. Some budget holders will definitely not agree with this.

So, who does want this? If the enforcers aren't that keen, and the local communities neither. Who is driving this scheme? Makes you wonder.

We do not condone dangerous or inappropriate speeds anywhere and would discourage all drivers from creating a hazardous situation. And because the silent majority of drivers couldn't organise a lobby, We don't suppose there will be many properly arranged attempts to bring reason to the Transport Ministers and local authorities. Maybe this is the issue that will push the normally resolute motoring citizen to get organised. Maybe common sense will prevail.

If any group of motorists do get together to bring a common sense approach to this fiasco, please, please do it in a professional and non-antagonistic style. The worst thing anyone can do is to provide evidence that most drivers and riders are, in fact, the morons politicians think you are. You do not have many friends inside parliament as it is, so please don't alienate yourselves more. The mainstream of people can make a difference instead of being treated like criminals and criminals treated like victims .

If you think that small groups of people cannot make a difference then consider this: In April 2000 Volvo spent over £500,000 on one T.V. advert in which their prized S40 saloon was seen in a sort of blurred image. Thus giving an impression that it could go fast. Oh no! What happened next? Fifteen people contacted the ITC to complain that the advert promoted speeding. Result the advert was pulled immediately. 15 people.

Who says people power doesn't work? Ten days later a High Court Judge adjudicated in favour of allowing Hard Core Pornography to be produced and marketed in the UK as It is unlikely to have any detrimental affect on children . Hmmm. Ask the families of children (and adults) who have been abused and killed by paedophiles brought up on a diet of porn. There's a whiff in the air.

Did you know the top 5 richest people in Britain include 3 pornographers who pay massive taxes to the government? Here's the point the UK pulls adverts that hint that a car (that is legally produced to develop speeds of over 100 mph) may well go quickly. Then in the same week we learn that seriously perverted stuff that will produce more unseen and seen casualties than any RTA is given the green light. He who pays the piper.. .da de da .

We sent this letter to your publication because of letters from readers that were echoing what a lot of bobbies also feel. If we nab any of your readership in the meantime, well at least you know a bit more of the story now.

If you try to contact us, we re will be unable to speak to anyone as it's not safe. Furthermore if we were identified, serious victimisation would follow. A number of ex-officers can vouch that it's not safe to talk out of shop.

Apologies for the length of this letter but it's taken a lot to put it together.

March lst, 2001 — should have warned you earlier about the blitz on small and irregular number plates/lettering. Casualty Reduction, you understand. No, honest, in order for us to collect the tax for the Chief, we must be able to read and photograph your VRN properly. So, before the next onslaught starts we will have to get your plates up to scratch. I'm afraid this will mean us actually stopping you and instead of giving you a Driver Rectification Scheme Notice or a warning (we haven't got a camera or computer to do this yet) we will be booking you. For that you risk £1000 fine and your number removed by DVLA forever. In return you get a Q plate for your vehicle which will reduce its value by 25%. You cannot win, we literally cannot afford to let you win.

The reason given to the government for this one was that properly displayed number plates can help to catch hit and run drivers. Of course, personalised number plates make identifying a suspect car even easier due to the unique nature of the name or phrase that the number plate makes. So individual plates can make detection easier. Here's the rub. The ANR cameras cannot read them and we will miss your £60 — that's the truth. Automatic number recognition, so that your vehicle can be plotted at any time, anywhere. Little or nothing to do with hit and run drivers. But it's good enough to convince the legislators, they buy it every time. There is plenty of law to catch the hit and run scum. They are criminals and the criminal law is sufficient.

Local helpful police campaigns of a few days duration will be swiftly followed by a couple of months of hammer them, now we've told them . Wait and see.

There is a new motto circulating around police forces it's called, "Tough on motoring. Tough on the causes of motoring" You! Not sure if it will catch on but it does have a familiar ring to it. Brussels calling shots — UK jumping and willing to cash in.

All motorists in the UK will have to moderate their driving or pay heavily, at the same time as the USA are raising limits. You work it out. it's a Money Trap. The word is that unless UK forces make a quick killing, the public will react strongly and once we've been rumbled; the cameras will have to go. The next government could probably get rid of most of them.

It will be interesting to find out if anyone agrees with the main sentiments in this letter, if so then write to somebody in power and tell them what you think, maybe we can get back to proper policing and maybe encourage better relationships with drivers. If there's some real interest around the country we will release some more details. You ve only got until March 9th 2001 to get the attention of someone with real power, not the pedestrian pen pushers who produce these Consultation Papers in the first place.

We will not encourage any driver to break the law. We would, however, encourage every driver to question draconian and blanket limits & enforcement for monetary gain. Cash for questions was a cliché used to criticise dubious MPs. Cash for speeders seems OK in 2001.

It hasn't even started in earnest yet — it's a gradual process that will soon blanket the nation. The upturn in technology and newer schemes will make this past year seem like the good old days.

Casualty Reduction or Control Escalation? You decide.

Maybe some would say that fining without penalty points would make it bearable, taking the criminalisation out of it. Probably appropriate limits in appropriate areas would do nicely also.

Not everyone will agree, but it is just plain sensible to have higher limits where hazards are few and far between, perhaps 25mph zones outside schools etc. it's called a balanced approach. Modern vehicles, brakes, & road surfaces all beg the question why are we reducing everything like mad . We suggest it's a national disease and it will spread to the local authorities and, it has to be said, police authorities are allowed to get greedy. This is Pyramid Financing on the largest scale since the war. The temptation will be too great, look at LA spending, member's expense accounts and other areas of known abuses. They will not let go on this one. Ask an MP or councillor whether they should work from an existing building or build a new one for £200m of taxpayers money — what will they answer? Exactly. So do not expect the revenue raising devices to be willingly withdrawn from YOUR roads or from the police budget. If we are wrong on this a letter of apology will be sent.

Sentence about various costs and council tax rises removed A scheme of surveillance cameras where each device could generate 20,000 tickets @ £60 and £90 a time day is too good to cancel — no CoP will let them go.

You have to accept that politicians and police are no longer public servants, we are your power overlords. The police have been given a completely free-hand by this government. You will see proof in coming months.

Even if the majority of your readers don't subscribe to a Need for Speed notion, at least adopt a No need for blanket reductions mentality.

Without the influence of ready cash there would be hardly any energy and interest in pursuing the motorist in this way. No other Road Safety Campaign has been given such resources — it is only the attraction of income that makes it possible.

In a few years time the greens and other minority environmental pressure groups will have reduced our driving to a prohibitively expensive luxury. All vehicles will be totally silent, slow, processional, powered by herbal tea, and constructed from re-cycled driving licences. The roads will be toll operated and you will have to pre-book your journey on alternate days of the week and carry all your neighbours just to qualify for a journey. The government wants you off the road, either by price or penalty — true or false? It appears to breach Human Rights rules, however the latest ruling by the Court of Appeal is that in the interests of public safety the police can continue to demand a person to incriminate himself when seeking to ascertain the driver of a vehicle at the time of a suspected offence . There you have it — it's alright to incriminate yourself if you re a driver, but you have the right to silence if you re a child molester. We do not suppose for a minute that the potential £6 billion a year income from the new cameras has anything to do with this decision.

The wheeze by Transport 2000 aimed at threatening ACPO with legal action if we don't adopt zero tolerance, is proof that a small group of wannabe transport experts will dictate what happens to the majority of the 26 million drivers in the UK. There should be a great deal of sympathy for those people who have suffered bereavement and injury on the roads, but that does not mean that they are now qualified to scream Stop every time it's a quiet news day. it's a clever way of playing on the emotions and not employing facts and science. It needs pointing out that being a grieving adult qualifies you to be a grieving adult, it does not mean you should join a small group and become a non-elected transport expert.

We haven't heard from anyone yet, who contradicts the hype and emotion, basically because they are afraid of being labelled as child killers . Only 7% of all injury RTA's involve alleged excessive speed. Nearly every pedestrian accident has involved an errant pedestrian walking in front of a moving vehicle. In other words it was the presence of a foot passenger on the carriageway NOT a car or bike on the pavement. Any impact whether at 30, 25 or 20 mph is going to hurt. You cannot go around hating the car for having been a careless pedestrian or relative of one. We can all quote an instance of a mad driver knocking someone over, but emotional outbursts don't make for good sense, but they do get headlines and votes.

The government targets are to reduce casualties by 50% (child) and 40% (adult) over 10 years. Given the current all eggs in one basket of enforcing ridiculous speed limits it will never happen. If we stopped every case of speeding it would only reduce casualties by 7%, a target which is impossible to meet. But can anyone calculate how much revenue we will collect over 10 years in trying the impossible? It would cancel 3rd World debt in 6 months.

You can be sure that when the pressure groups get zero tolerance they will insist on reduced limits, pedestrianisation, humps, bollards, chicanes, GATSOs, and the list is endless. Check it out — has your local town or village started to ostracise the motorist since April 2000? Can't park, can't go down some streets, can't do anything but get out of town and go home? Won't someone with qualifications stand up for the majority of citizens who drive? Someone who is not afraid of losing his/ her job if they get found out saying things like this.

You will get some irate responses from some police forces on this, listen very carefully to what is said in reply and then ask if anything said here is incorrect.

Also, ask for specific answers on the points raised. You will hear political responses, but you won't find a single senior officer or LA Chief Executive that will agree. Their budgets and salaries will be depend on efficiencies (numbers) in carrying out the dictat of Central Government.

Pose these questions:-

  • What is the policy for regulating how many photographic enforcement devices will be sited along our roads?
  • When will the results be made known to the public?
  • When will cameras be removed from sites where there are no accident figures?
  • Will enforcement be carried out on roads where there are no accident black-spots?
  • Are the large distracting white painted squares and circles on roads (for VASCAR) legal and authorised by Dept of Transport or have they been painted during the hours of darkness by non-qualified personnel in contravention of Department of Transport rules?
  • How much has it cost to affix all those Camera signs back to back on sign posts up and down our countryside? Surprising that our Green friends haven't campaigned against these blots on the landscape that constantly remind us we re being watched and photographed.
  • Are these signs legally placed? In accordance with the Traffic Signs and General Directions Regs.
  • What controls are in place to limit the number of cameras that can photograph drivers and their front seat passengers?
  • Will the fact that the money has rolled in be the criteria for buying and placing new cameras?
  • Will there be an effort to review and test the higher speed limit schemes as mentioned in this letter (and known to work, by most transport officials)?
  • What exactly are the measures of success and failure of this campaign?
  • Will any Chief Constable have the courage to actually admit this is a revenue-gathering ruse and go against the flow?
  • If casualties appear to drop again in the next year will that be an excuse to buy more enforcement devices?
  • If casualties appear not to drop in the next year will that also be used as the excuse to buy more devices? i.e. it obviously needs more enforcement to make this work.

In closing it ought to be pointed out that nothing in this letter is intended to obstruct genuine road safety efforts by local authorities and police forces. Realistic and achievable objectives are to be applauded. The current campaign is being aimed almost in totality against drivers and riders. It is unreasonable and discriminatory. It demands scrutiny and a common sense approach.

Suggestions from the real experts are as follows,

1. Keep the general 30, 40 and 50 mph situation as it is.

2. Review limits where they are obviously too low and increase where necessary.

3. Reduce any limits outside schools and where the more vulnerable members of society congregate to a possible 25 mph,

4. Raise the speed limit on motorways and certain dual-carriageways to 90 mph,

5. Increase the national limit on so called de-restricted roads from 60 mph to 70 mph.

Do this and you will see overall casualties dropping and sensible attitudes prevailing. The average percentile speed will only increase by 2 mph and those who can drive progressively and overtake on occasions can do so without fear. Overtaking will be a routine part of everyday driving as mentioned in the Highway Code and will not be a case of will I go to jail, lose my licence and my income if I overtake this slower vehicle? What if I'm alongside another vehicle when I see the camera, or yellow jacket pointing something at me? Recipe for chaos on our roads.

When drivers have legal higher speed limits they will NOT automatically drive to exceed them. Make it an imprisonable crime to breach them and it will have the same effect as Alcohol Prohibition in 1920's in America i.e. did not stop drinking but made criminals out of those who did.

We need to reverse this current madness and seek to remove the criminalisation of drivers and the climate of fear that we have imposed upon motorists everywhere.

 

COMPLICITY or

CASH or

CLAMPS or

CLINK you choose.

 

Campaign for Bringing the Confidence back into driving in the UK. Remove the Fear.

Yours, disillusioned,

 

The motorist's few friends in Region area.

Remember the speed of your vehicle is always your responsibility no-one elses.

YOU HAVE BEEN WELL AND TRULY WARNED.

 

 


 

Latest press release proves the point.

On 20th April 2001, City Council announced they were conducting speed traps at Accident blackspots and speeding hot spots in the same announcement they estimated that this campaign would bring in £300,000. Note that they did not say they would reduce accidents by x% or reduce casualties by x%, but that it would raise revenue for the local county of £300,000. Well at least that mask has finally slipped and everyone can see that it's all about money.

Anyway with this information in mind, the following day on a family trip to City what was observed? Mobile speed cameras outside schools? In accident black spots? Outside sheltered accommodation? NO.

The colour & make van was parked in a layby at location catching drivers slowing from the 40 limit into the 30 limit on a dual carriageway. Casualty reduction?

Next there were 4 officers on Road near the railway station on the slip road with a device to get speeders on the M#. On the straightest and possibly safest part of the M# in Region. About the only place you could safely travel at 80-90 mph. But this is obviously a speeding hotspot or accident blackspot just like the press release said.

This is the most cynical use of police resources to persecute ordinary motorists in a way that is almost legalised robbery.

Lastly, it appears to be a breach of human rights for a terrorist to be injured whilst engaged in terrorism, but it's not a breach of human rights to be forced under the threat of prosecution, to have to incriminate yourself in a matter of an alleged traffic offence.

30 years ago Ronnie Biggs made off with his share off £1m and was classed as a Great Train Robber. What a fool, if he had bought a Laser Camera and spent 8 days on the M# over-bridge he would have doubled his money and been classed as a hero by the local Superintendent. At least with Mr. Biggs, what you see is what you get.

 

Stop Press

Latest joke doing the rounds in Kent police area. Heard on a course recently.

Dover Immigration Official " Why do you want to come into the UK?"

Asylum seeker: "I am an east European terrorist, having links with the Mafia, drugs and organised crime. I wish to take advantage of the British welfare and benefits system, settle in London from where I can learn how to export my particular brand of fundamentalist terrorism to other parts of the world, and not be troubled by your laws"

Dover Immigration Official: "Hmmm, OK, you can stay"

Asylum seeker: "Thank you sir"

Dover Immigration Official: "Just a moment, do you have a clean driving licence?"

Asylum seeker: "Yes, of course!"

Dover Immigration Official: "In that case, Entry Refused, we don't want your sort in the UK".

 

Election coming up. Want to be the next Prime Minister? Want 20 million votes?

Simple, reverse the plague of revenue raisers in the land. Reduce carte blanche Gatsos and target criminal drivers. Why don't the spin doctors come up with that?

 

Stop Press 2

Newspaper headlines 19th May — Police ordered to book more motorists — Fixed penalties to go up by four times the current rate. That's even more than the Consultation Paper hinted at. So expect 2,000,000 banned drivers in the coming year, not the 500,000 predicted. How do you suppose that will come about? More speeding drivers? No. Just lower the threshold and get more drivers banned. Everything in this letter will be proved right in time, just wait and see.

Last year we considered notifying the motoring public of the scale of the camera catastrophe we predicted it would increase very quickly. Nobody believed us. Who's sorry now?

If you thought that elected politicians would ruin your life wait to see what non-elected chief officers and council officials will do.

There is no turning back, 200 years ago it was called Highway Robbery — today it's Casualty Reduction .

Every scheme that has money as it's incentive is doomed to abuse, over-kill and frenzy. The sight of your city, town and village will prove the point. Not a street that hasn't got those camera signs littering the landscape. And soon not a stretch of tarmac that will not have a camera to record your activities. Has your town and countryside sprouted the money cameras? Yes?

Role on the next 4 years and some of us can hang up our boots and join the growing number of pedestrians.

June 1st — Police force announce their £110,000 roving speed camera. They said the costs will be recouped from fines. Yes, at £60 a ticket times 400 tickets a day equals 4.5 days to get the money back. Makes you sick doesn't it? Makes your chest swell with pride to know that our valiant council leaders are jumping on the gravy train and targeting more ordinary folk as they go about their daily business. The places being targeted are 5 recognised speeding hot-spots ? Hot spots are not listed anywhere in Road Safety manuals on Accident Black Spots. So what's the difference? Easy — a Hot Spot is where motorists drive at the design speed for the road given the prevailing traffic, indicating that probably the limit is set inappropriately LOW. But this is the best location to elicit £60 a time from drivers. So it accrues the most money and is therefore a hot-spot. You have been conditioned to accept that hot-spots are OK to get targeted. Well any reasonable law enforcement officer knows that black spots are the place to site cameras not just where the pickings are highest.

We are using space-age laser technology of a sort which is more complex than the technology that guided men to the moon and back — against motorists who have a speedometer with a plus or minus accuracy of 10%. In any other sphere of life this would be unacceptable. Where millions of pounds are involved it's OK.

Once upon a time there was 1 One Armed Bandit, now how many are there in the UK? Once there was 1 Speed Camera, now how many are there?

There are no upper limits to the number of camera and surveillance devices that can sited around our highways. When they are all linked and sharing data the network will be complete.

All your daily lives will be systematically spoiled and controlled due to this frenzy and from what I hear in meetings no-one will make a stand against it for fear of being labelled child killer and anti-Road Safety. The pressure groups have won — you will all pay.

Last word — Give drivers appropriate higher limits in most areas and only reduce and target built up areas. Nobody would have a problem with that. Drivers will respond by keeping to lower limits knowing that they can drive appropriately higher speeds as soon as they leave restricted zones. It makes sense and has been proved to work elsewhere.

What happens when you blanket restrict and persecute everyone? Resentment and drivers trying to cheat with speed wherever they can BECAUSE it's not tolerated anywhere. Same reasoning as drinking after time you have to do it because it's a challenge Give drivers credit for sense and responsibility and they will react properly — try it and see. Germany sees it working every day.

All British drivers are stupid — or are you?

 

The ABD is aware of a number of serving police traffic officers amongst it's members. Every one of them has asked to remain incognitio for fear of repercussions from their force. What does that tell you about what is happening in this country?

The government condemns bullying in schools, yet it actively incites local authorities and the police to bully drivers. They get away with it because the government has also spent millions of pounds of public money on propaganda campaigns to brainwash the public into believing that all drivers are evil, child-killing, planet-destroying ogres who deserve all they get.

Help us fight this tyranny — Join the ABD now

 


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