ISSUE DATE: 16 July 2020
Once again what the ABD has been saying for decades now has been corroborated: the UK road “safety” industry has degenerated into a tawdry “dash-for-cash”, due to its myopic – and factually incorrect – focus on speed as if it were the ONLY cause of road accidents.
See: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8527263/Speed-cameras-used-police-councils-good-hunting-grounds-watchdog-report-reveals.html, which quotes a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/ In fact, most road accidents are not the result of exceeding the speed limit; but are in fact caused (below) by observation failures, inattention and distraction.
Fatal and serious injury road accidents where illegal speed is a factor (above) also invariably feature a cocktail of drugs, alcohol and crime; so are not amenable to automated enforcement.
The fundamental problem with the current system is that no one is regulating enforcement operations; which have been subverted into a giant revenue-generating Wurlitzer for camera partnerships, awareness course providers and councils (see: https://www.speed-awareness.org/).
What is actually needed is for speed limits to exclusively be set using the 85th Percentile principle. To effect this we need the creation of an independent and objective Road Accident Investigation and Prevention body, composed exclusively of ex-marine and -aviation accident investigation personnel.
This body would be tasked with investigating and determining the primary causes of road accidents, and how these can best be addressed to prevent/ reduce their future incidence. It would also have responsibility for setting speed limits according to best practice (85th percentile) principles. A further role would involve policing enforcement practices via unannounced, random spot-check inspections and audits (as is the case with e.g., school inspections & Monopolies Commission investigations).