London, 4 July 2001.
For immediate release.

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Canada Shows The Way
ABD calls for Britain to follow, but veil of secrecy falls on UK police plans.
Six years after the province of Ontario removed speed cameras from its roads, Canada has again shown that, in some parts of the world at least, there is some common sense regarding law enforcement on the roads. This time it's British Columbia where sanity has broken out, with the incoming Government honouring election pledges to scrap photo radar.

The Governments of Ontario and British Columbia have ditched all forms of photographic speed detection, such as the GATSOs used in the UK, because they've realised that:

  1. it is motivated by revenue
  2. it has no safety benefits
  3. it must be propped up by a well funded spin machine to survive
  4. it is heavy handed and arbitrary
  5. it undermines respect for the law and law enforcement
  6. it invades privacy as a 'big brother' device
When speed cameras were abolished in Ontario, the incoming Premier, Michael Harris, called photo-radar "a Government cash grab" and "an Orwellian cash machine". In this latest outbreak of intelligence, British Columbia's Attorney General, Geoff Plant, said of photo-radar "From the day it started it undermined public confidence in the rule of law and law enforcement".

The Association of British Drivers wholeheartedly agrees with the views expressed by these two gentlemen.
ABD Chairman, Brian Gregory, commented

"Few, if any, of Britain's drivers now believe that speed cameras are there for safety reasons, recognising instead that they're there to make money for the police. This is fleecing, not policing - a cynical 'dash for cash' by the police, aided and abetted by local councils who obligingly lower speed limits to unreasonable levels to increase the number of drivers caught and maximise the 'take'"

As Canada does away with their speed cameras, what are the British police planning to do? Install another 4,500 cameras and treble the number of tickets issued to ten million a year! These plans were announced a few weeks ago and are being championed by Richard Brunstrom, Chief Constable of North Wales Police, who has since admitted on national radio that he himself exceeds the speed limit.

In a worrying development on Monday (July 2nd) the Police decided to ban the Press from their 'Safety Camera Roll Out Conference', to be held at Sedgebrook Hall, Northampton at 11.30 on Wednesday (July 4th]. Leading motoring journalist Robert Farago, whose place at the conference had been confirmed, was suddenly told he would not be allowed to attend after all.
ABD Spokesman Russell Eden commented:

"This is scary - what are the police up to? We know this conference was to sell the 'roll-out' of thousands more profitable speed cameras to other police forces, but they've either realised just how unpopular those plans are with the public or they're planning something worse than we ever imagined, and they've adopted a 'bunker mentality' and locked themselves away." He added "Whatever happened to policing by consent? Now we have policing by intimidation, from a police force which operates in secret because they're frightened to let us see what they're doing."

The ABD's Roads and Traffic Spokesman, Mark McArthur-Christie, revealed:

"We are hearing from more and more serving police officers who are concerned at the effect which concentrating efforts on speed is having on road safety, and the damage which large numbers of speed camera prosecutions are doing to relations between the police and the public"

The ABD believes that the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, realises the damage speed cameras are doing to police-public relations and respect for the law generally, and urges him to follow the example set by Ontario and British Columbia and scrap the mugging machines lying in wait beside Britain's roads.

 

Notes for Editors