❝A short saying oft contains much wisdom.❞
Sophocles (496BC – 406BC)

Our growing selection of quotes on speed cameras, from both the  good guys  and the  bad guys .
 
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Selected Quote
 
“I believe we have lost a tremendous amount of goodwill from the public. I think the biggest mistake we have made is getting some money back. I am most uncomfortable with the focus on the taxation view which goes with it.”
“There is a place for them but I think we have lost the argument on that. I think the police service has really suffered some really serious confidence problems, and support from the public, as a result.”
Mike Hedges
Chief Constable
South Yorkshire Police
2004-02-20
Source: Sheffield Star

 
Quotes pertaining to Speed Cameras
"когда деньги говорят, тогда правда молчит"
“When money talks, then truth is silent.”
Russian Proverb

“Speed cameras.....are fatuous instruments of oppression .....designed to exercise power and impose subservience purely for its own sake”
Auberon Waugh

“Electronic speed cameras are hiding behind a guise of pedestrian safety to raise money, and are planned for motorways where there are no pedestrians. The Government is blatantly dishonest”
Professor Garel Rhys
Head of Automotive Economics
Cardiff Business School,
and Parliamentary Adviser on Trade and Industry;
commenting on Tony Blair's anti-car policies.
2000

“We do not believe in pursuing speed enforcement for the sake of it as this could alienate members of the public, potential witnesses and future employees.”
Michael Todd
Assistant Commissioner
Metropolitan Police
July 2001

“I find the policy of the police keeping speeding fines disgraceful ..... this removes the impartiality of my job”
Un-named police officer during a phone-in
BBC Radio 5 Live
2001-08-02

“Cameras should be bright”
“I have no time for the argument that cameras should be hidden. I'm interested in prevention.”
Ken Williams
Norfolk Chief Constable,
and Chairman of the ACPO Traffic Committee
2001-08-02

“Using the revenue from speeding tickets to raise money for the police is not what the law is there for, it is contrary to the independence of the police.”
Sir John Stevens
Metropolitan Police Commissioner
2001-08-20

“The legally registered, fully insured motorist who falls foul of a speed camera is the ultimate easy case — paying on the dot while joy-riders travel free of charge, free of speed restrictions and free of parking tickets.”
Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP
Shadow Home Secretary
2003-05-07

“For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.”
H. L. Mencken

“Speed cameras don't reduce casualties — they are just for revenue generation.”
Chief Inspector Paul Gilroy
Northumbria Police
October 2003

“We ought to be altering driver behaviour, rather than adopting a blanket speed camera approach that doesn`t effectively tackle the problem.”
Paul Garvin
Chief Constable
Durham Constabulary
Sunday Times 2003-11-23

“I believe police officers who tell me that they regard these as a revenue raising exercise, but fundamentally this is my concern, its all about the stick, there is no carrot for driving well and if this carries on the way it is there is going to be a speed camera every mile down all the roads. Now as far as I can see we are creating a police state where effectively we are saying we don't trust you to be a responsible driver, instead we are going to say we punish you for being a bad driver with no let up at all, no consideration that cars are safer now, they've got better stopping distances and so forth, and I'm very concerned that it is hard to justify some of these speed cameras when you look at the accident statistics”

“I represent decent, honest people who find their livelihoods are at risk because the police are more interested in targeting speeding motorists in order to take advantage of the revenue brought in by fines, than they are in stamping out serious criminal activity such as theft, rape and, in particular, gun-related crime.”
Fiona Warman, Solicitor.
Solihull News 2003-11-28

“It has been very convenient (for governments) to go along with the community belief that it's all about bad behaviour, because then you don't have to invest so much in infrastructure.”
Ian Johnston
Accident Research Centre Director
Monash University, Australia. 2004

“When I was running the system our aim was to ensure that speed limits were observed, but if you succeed in getting people to observe the speed limit then you produce no income. Forces were only allowed to join the 'cash for cameras' scheme if they signed up to increasing massively the numbers of tickets issued. It was not about road safety.”

Steve Walsh
former Staffordshire Police constable and
member of ACPO speed camera team
Daily Telegraph
2004-01-11

“It's absolutely ridiculous that anyone should be prosecuted for being 1mph over the limit. Apart from the possibility of inaccuracies, we believe it is dangerous. You don't want motorists driving along staring at their speedometers rather than concentrating on the road ahead.”
Edmund King, RAC Foundation
Daily Mail 2004-01-31

“We are in danger of alienating the public. We must not lose public support. People are becoming cynical about what is going on with speed cameras.
I went all over Europe and the rest of the world to look at the problem. I was responsible for getting them approved here — but now I say it has gone too far.”
Peter Joslin
former Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police
The Sun
2004-02-02

“I believe we have lost a tremendous amount of goodwill from the public. I think the biggest mistake we have made is getting some money back. I am most uncomfortable with the focus on the taxation view which goes with it.”
“There is a place for them but I think we have lost the argument on that. I think the police service has really suffered some really serious confidence problems, and support from the public, as a result.”
Mike Hedges
Chief Constable
South Yorkshire Police
2004-02-20
Source: Sheffield Star

“I don't approve of the use of speed cameras as money-making devices. The proper use for speed cameras is as a measure to lower the accident rate. I am not after people on the school run exceeding the limit by five or six miles an hour. I want my traffic policing to target the dangerous drivers, the road hogs, and the menaces who are driving unlicensed and uninsured.”
Sir John Stevens
Metropolitan Police Commissioner
2004-02-21
Source: BBC

“There is a perception that people who commit criminal offences and who, quite properly and according to guidelines, get a caution, get an easier ride than those who speed at the lower end. Whilst clearly the comparison is not a helpful one, I do nevertheless have some very real sympathy for this perception. Any criminal justice system to be effective has to be seen to be fair. It just cannot be right when people feel that our response within that system is disproportionate.”
Paul Stephenson
Chief Constable
Lancashire Constabulary
2004-03-11
Source: Lancashire Constabulary.

“...the public has become alienated from the police. The public supported 'traffic cops' even if they were wary, because they could see the value of our work. Speed cameras have made the police the enemy of the motorist, even if we have nothing to do with them. They are seen as the police making money.”
Un-named West Midlands police officer writing in POLICE [pdf 463k]
(The newspaper of the Police Federation)
March 2004

“We are told to engage with the public. We used to do that through dealing with motoring offenders. By dealing with them by giving advice, warnings, or process, we often made a positive impression. Now we have inanimate cameras.”
Un-named police traffic inspector writing in POLICE [pdf 463k]
(The newspaper of the Police Federation)
March 2004

“I am coming to the conclusion that the proliferation of speed cameras and varied approaches to speed restrictions have the potential to be more dangerous than the speeding that is being targeted.
I spend much more time than I ever used to looking down at my speedometer to check I am not marginally over the limit and as much time again checking for seemingly arbitrary alterations to the limit just for fear of being caught and deprived of my licence.
I would prefer to be able to concentrate on the road and what was actually happening on it.”
Colin Baker,
writing in the Bucks Free Press
2004-04-30

“The pro-camera lobby, and a lot of the safety partnerships, deliberately misquote the statistics to try and mislead people to try and justify their position. I think it is disingenuous if we are really intent on reducing casualties on the road - as opposed to enforcing speed limits and dishing out lots of tickets.”
“More accidents are caused by inattention, drink driving, or nowadays, more by driving under the influence of drugs. And these statistics adopted by certain forces show a woolly area regarding the proximity of speed cameras. Some statistics are taken from an area 20 metres from a camera and others from a two-kilometre radius. The speed cameras issue is not a point of principle, it is a fact that they are pointless.”
Paul Garvin,
Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary
The Journal
2004-06-16

“Speed alone is not the reason fatality figures are increasing at a horrifying rate. The reason is drivers' ignorance. Speed cameras work in slowing traffic in some locations, but they are not the only solution. The answer has to be modification of driver behaviour through education and enforcement.”
Sgt Tony Cooke, Cheshire Police
Ellesmere Port Pioneer
2004-07-07

“I am concerned and always have been concerned about this issue. I believe that speed cameras at casualty reduction sites where they can make a real difference are really necessary in order to stop people from being killed or injured on our roads. But I don't agree with them being used, in effect, as another form of taxation.
"I think it is still of great concern to me that the public think it's about income generation and they lose respect for law and order."
It's part of a bigger point about practical policing, he adds: "In the same way we don't go around the city centre on a Saturday night and arrest every single person who is shouting for a breach of the peace. You put your arm around people, say, 'you've had a good night out, you've had a drink, now it's time to go home.'”
Michael Todd
Chief Constable
Greater Manchester Police
Insider, July 2004

“The association believes that cameras do have a part to play in road safety but the camera does not educate the driver.”
Rick Naylor
President, Police Superintendent's Association
Daily Post, Sept 2004

“I haven't yet spoken to one single person who supports the campaign. The public seem to be on one side of the argument. The Police Authority and the chief constable are on the other side, that's not good for democracy, it's not good for policing, it's not good for the public.”
Phil Edwards
A former Police officer and Police Federation secretary
Daily Post, 22 Sept 2004

“They do tend to divert drivers' attention away from other areas and they concentrate solely on their speed.”
PC Michael Jeffrey
Accident Investigator
Greater Manchester Police
Daily Telegraph, Oct 2004

“Speed cameras distract them particularly. I've noticed it myself on the roads, when drivers who are unfamiliar with a particular stretch will break harshly to 30mph when perhaps the limit is actually 50mph. These cameras are a valuable safety measure when properly sited and used. But they are in danger of becoming a hazard.”
John Pollard
Coroner for South Manchester
Daily Telegraph, Oct 2004

“With more than 20 years as a traffic inspector and chief inspector, I always thought that, when decisions were made to prosecute motorists, the police had to prove the offence beyond all reasonable doubt - and that they also had to use a certain amount of discretion and commonsense. Now I believe those basic principles are being ignored in pursuit of revenue.”
Neil Longsden
former Chief Inspector,
Greater Manchester Police Motorway Group
Manchester Online, Oct 2004

“You are not alone in this county in being unhappy with some of the provision of speed cameras.
Some people feel it is a form of taxation which is turning law-abiding citizens, such as yourself, into criminals. It is not a very satisfactory state of affairs.”
Judge Richard Bray
Northampton Crown Court
2005-09-01
BBC

“The speed camera regime is inconsistently and arbitrarily set by unaccountable partnerships. The mass prosecution of minor infringements is unacceptable when speed cameras do so little actually to make our roads safer.”
Alan Duncan
Shadow Transport Secretary
2005-10-03
Conservatives

“The irresponsible siting of speed camera for income generation has been a highly effective means of eroding public support for the police. Their benefits are strictly limited to speeding offences and do nothing to tackle the array of other dangerous driving offences.”
Alan Gordon
Vice-Chairman of the Police Federation
'POLICE' Dec 2005 [pdf]

“You can never argue against a camera but it's not enlightened. It doesn't recognise the 90% of accidents which have nothing to do with the speed limit. They're primarily a revenue generator rather than a safety measure.
There is a danger that this single-minded pursuit of speed cameras will not end up solving the problem but will alienate every motorist in the country. There is already evidence to suggest that their goodwill has been tested and if it continues you could have a situation where motorists effectively go on strike.”
Anthony Beresford
Lecturer in Road Transport,
Cardiff University
Western Mail 2006-06-07

“It's ludicrous to try and police 30 million motorists with automated machines. We need real living people, not roadside robots.”
Owen Patterson MP
Shadow Minister for Transport
Daily Mail 2007-06-15

“Speed cameras have nothing whatever to do with road safety. They are a blunt instrument with which to criminalise drivers who stray several mph above the speed limit — something that clearly isn't dangerous per se, unless changing or prevailing conditions render it so. Cameras are not able to determine this. Traffic police officers could, but they have mostly been diverted on to other uniform duties, mainly to persecute members of the public for other trivial matters in order to fulfil their "performance indicators", which are hated universally by police officers.
This is a cynical ploy by the Government to fool the electorate that detection rates are up, but you score as many points for solving a shoplifting case as a murder. If the Government was remotely interested in road safety, it would invest more of the excruciating levels of tax it extracts from the road system. Instead, we are forced to endure increasingly dangerous road surfaces, neglected signs and ridiculous levels of congestion that have deliberately been engineered into our transport system. The clear objective is to make motoring such a miserable experience that people will be forced to take public transport.
With speed cameras, the authorities have simply created another dangerous hazard. Where people are unfamiliar with an area, they now spend far too much time with their eyes off the road looking at their speedos, and this has undoubtedly led to an increase in accidents. Fortunately for the Government there is no way of identifying from accident statistics where this has happened, as drivers, while admitting privately what really took place, will not do so officially. Straying over the limit by a few miles per hour does not make a bad driver. Poor governmental policy does.”
P.F., Retired police sergeant, Northumberland.
In a letter to the Daily Telegraph 2007-08-25

“The only thing the cameras have done successfully is to reduce the number of traffic officers patrolling our roads and lose a lot of decent people their driving licences and livelihoods.”

“Drink driving is one of the most important road safety issues where cameras simply cannot help. Labourís over-reliance on speed cameras has left their strategy for preventing collisions seriously flawed. With areas with the most cameras at the bottom of the safety table, many are now seriously questioning whether fixed speed cameras are being used as life savers or revenue raisers. The Governmentís one-club-golfer approach to road safety fails to address the menace of rogue drivers. Cameras cannot catch those who drive under the influence of drink or drugs.”
Theresa Villiers
Shadow Transport Secretary
Daily Express 2009-08-06

Quotes from the bad guys
“Speed cameras have their limitations...but when these matters can be overcome they will be a sure winner for raising revenue.”
The Metropolitan Police magazine, Metline
March 1999

“We have not been targeted to reduce deaths, we have been targeted to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured. We are saving lives from misery and from being in a permanent vegetative state.”
Susan Beck, National Safety Camera Liasion
Mail on Sunday
2004-01-18

“My message is very simple - this debate is now over. It is beyond doubt that they prevent death and injury.”
Richard Brunstrom
Chief Constable
North Wales Police.
The Independent
2004-07-20 

“figures showing the number of people injured can make the situation look a lot worse than it actually is”
Joanne Smith
Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership
2005-12-08
Lincolnshire Echo

“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.”
Terry Mulder (Liberal Party)
Opposition Transport Spokesman
Melbourne Herald Sun
Australia
2006-07-02

“The onus is on the driver of the vehicle to prove their innocence, not on the Partnership to prove guilt.”
Jeannie Hoddinott
Staffordshire camera partnership
Motorcycle News
2006-12-12

“Our position at ACPO is that speed cameras are the cornerstone of reducing speeding and deaths on the road.”
Mick Giannasi
Chief Constable of Gwent &
ACPO road safety spokesman
The Independent
2010-08-12

“Average speed cameras are better than fixed because they give the motorist plenty of warning. With fixed cameras they often come to an abrupt slow down which can cause accidents.”
Inspector Clinton Hale
Manager of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety Camera Unit
Cambridge News
2010-11-09