20 Nov 2007.
For immediate release.

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Top Traffic Cop May Face Driving Ban
Med Hughes - More Points Than Entire ABD Committee Put Together!
Med Hughes, Head of Roads Policing for ACPO, and Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, is due to appear before Wrexham magistrates tomorrow charged with exceeding a speed limit on the A5 near Chirk, North Wales, earlier this year.
 
Mr Hughes was allegedly travelling at over 90mph in a 60mph limit, and, according to news reports, already has six penalty points on his licence. Although these are time expired, so won't count under "totting up", he could still be given a driving ban for being more than 30mph over the limit. Six points is the minimum penalty expected in these circumstances.
 
Med Hughes, like his predecessor Richard Brunstrom, has been a vigorous defender of speed cameras, even calling for them to be hidden so as to catch more people. He has justified this by saying that breaking speed limits is always dangerous and enforcing them rigidly is the way to save lives.
 
"This is hypocrisy on a scale it would be hard to make up if it wasn't true," said ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries. "ACPO try to paint organisations like the ABD as irresponsible boy racers, yet Med Hughes will by tomorrow have twice as many points on his licence as the entire ABD committee of 12 put together. Yes — ONE of us has 3 points, the other 11 have none between them. Many of us have NEVER had any points."
 
It is hard to understand how a senior police officer, who understands every nuance of enforcement methods, can find himself in this position.
 
Either he is arrogant enough to think that the law doesn't apply to him, or he foolishly believes his own propaganda that enforcement is about safety and so thinks that someone driving safely, reasonably and competently has nothing to fear from speed cameras.
 
Whatever his state of mind, ACPO in general and Med Hughes in particular now have no credibility on road safety — their justifications for speed cameras lie in tatters.
 
It will be fascinating to see how the court sentences Mr Hughes if he is found guilty of the alleged offence. Will they take into account his publicly stated views that exceeding a speed limit by any margin is always extremely dangerous?
 
If they do, they should view his alleged offence with far greater concern than a similar misdemeanour committed by any normal driver.
 
Or will they see him as a safe, highly trained professional driver who has broken the law without putting anyone at risk, and tend towards leniency? If they do, they will deepen the double standard that is driving a wedge between the public and the police and give lie to both his and ACPO's pronouncements.

 
 
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