Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Speed Cameras - funding cuts - will the roads be less safe?

Early on in the days of the coalition government a cut to funding for speed cameras was announced - see Telegraph 18th JuneThe Guardian 9th August reports that the Chief Constable of Gwent has said that cutting speed cameras will put lives at risk.  Julie Spence, the outgoing Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire, has referred to speeding as "middle class anti social behaviour".  Both Chief Constables have a point: excessive speed in the circumstances is a contributory factor in many serious road traffic accidents.  Maybe, in some cases, speeding might be seen as anti-social ?  However, I fail to see what it has to do with "middle class" - whatever that term either means or is intended to imply.  As far as I can see, speeding is commonplace across the social spectrum.

In 2009, the previous government consulted about road safety - see Department for Transport.   The consultation document informed us that, in 2007, there were 2946 deaths on British roads and almost 28000 serious injuries.   The BBC website offers further data.  In June 2007, Safespeed campaigned against the speed camera - see Telegraph 23rd June 2007.  They argued that more attention needed to be paid to "risk management" aspects of driving.  That would include better observation and anticipation of what might occur as well as adjustment to speed according to situations and weather.  The organisation Brake campaigns for speed cameras - see here. Whatever the truth in this matter, the 7 year sentence imposed on this man hardly seems to deter others and will not bring his victim back to life or give much comfort to her family - see Yorkshire Evening Post 18th May 2010.

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