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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 14:30 
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Link to Sunday People

EXCLUSIVE: TWO SPEED FINES AND YOU'RE OUT

EXCLUSIVE Your licence could go in a flash under penalty points crackdown

By Nigel Nelson Political Editor

SPEEDING drivers could soon be banned for getting flashed just TWICE by roadside cameras.

Motorists hitting 45mph in a 30mph zone will collect six points under a new sliding scale for fixed penalties.

Breaking the limit by that amount a second time will mean a total of 12 points - and automatic disqualification.

The same applies to anyone flashed twice doing 57mph or above in a 40mph limit.

At present a flash results in only three points unless you are going so fast that police take the case to court. So a driver only loses his licence after the FOURTH offence.

The good news for speeders under the proposed changes is that those exceeding speed limits of 40mph and above by only a few mph will escape with just two points.

Fines will also be dished out according to how much a driver goes over the limit.

The present standard £60 fines will RISE to £100 for six-point speeders - and DROP to £40 for a two-point offender.

But police will still prosecute for really high speeds when magistrates can slap on a ban of between two weeks and two months as well as dish out points.

Transport minister Jim Fitzpatrick, explaining the thinking behind the "two flashes and you're out" system, said: "Graduated speeding penalties make the punishment better fit the crime.

"There are considerable differences in speeding and this considers drivers who breach the limit by a small amount through lapses in concentration.

"It also allows for a higher penalty as a strong deterrent against more extreme speeders."

There are new scales of two, three or six points for all speed limits from 40mph to 70mph. Speeders in 20mph and 30mph zones will get at least three points. The new system comes as ever soaring numbers of speed cameras have left a million drivers just one point from losing their licence.

The proposals could be law next year. There will be a consultation this autumn.

One question to be debated is whether speeders in 30mph limits should get different treatment depending on whether the road is in a town or the country.

Safety campaigners insist the moves do not go far enough. A spokesman for the charity Brake said: "Reducing the minimum penalty to two points sends the wrong signal. Penalties are already too low and don't act as a deterrent. Speeding kills and is a serious crime."

Department of Transport research shows that an eight-year-old child hit by a car doing 30mph has an 80 per cent chance of surviving.

But if the youngster is run down at 40mph it has an 80 per cent chance of dying.

But Paul Smith, founder of motoring campaigners Safe Speed, branded the new points plan "farcical". He said: "We have a road safety system which emphasises speed limits rather than safe driving - and this will emphasise limits even more.

"But the point is not whether someone exceeds the speed limit but whether they are driving too fast.

"And that depends on the conditions. If it's foggy or kids are likely to step out into the road that's when drivers need to cut their speed."

Voice of The People: Page 8


HOW POINTS WILL WORK


20
Up to 31mph 3pts
32 mph plus 6pts

30
Up to 44 mph 3pts
45 mph plus 6pts

40
Up to 50 mph 2pts
51 to 56 mph 3pts
57 mph plus 6pts

50
Up to 61 mph 2pts
62 to 69 mph 3pts
70 mph plus 6pts

60

Up to 72 mph 2pts
73 to 81 mph 3pts
82 mph plus 6pts

70

Up to 83 mph 2pts
84 to 93 mph 3pts
94 mph plus 6pts

FINES: £40 for small lapses but £100 for bad cases

***

Safe Speed issued the following PR at 10:16 this morning:

PR521: Graduated speeding penalties - flawed to the core

news: for immediate release

The Sunday People today report of the 're-activation' of the graduated speeding
penalty proposals. The Safe Speed road safety campaign called the ideas 'muddle
headed' and 'flawed to the core'.

Paul Smith, founder of SafeSpeed.org.uk, said: "We have done extraordinary
damage to our road safety systems with excessive emphasis on speed limit
compliance - and these proposals are all set to make matters worse."

"The problem", Mr Smith explained, "is that we're simply not using the right
definition of 'too fast'. Everyone knows that it's dangerous to drive too fast,
but the speed limit almost never tells us what too fast is. The graduated
speeding penalty proposal adds to the false message that the speed limit is the
main definition of 'too fast'. We have a nation of drivers who adjust their
speed to suit the conditions - and that's exactly the behaviour that we need.
Of course there are a few 'nutters' out there too, but they have acquired the
skills and the technology required to avoid the cameras. The rest of us; the
responsible majority; are now less skilled at avoiding danger due to these
muddle-headed policies."

"The whole 'graduated speeding penalty' idea is flawed to the core. Department
for Transport can't even propose a sensible table of penalties which will
satisfy their supporters AND the legal requirements of being able to prove in
court that a higher level offence has been committed. Suppose the speed meter
records 46mph. People will argue in court that speed in excess of 45mph cannot
be proven (due to accumulated measurement and calibration errors) and will
demand the lower penalty. It will be necessary to add 10% + 2mph to every
threshold. When the tables are revised to take account of this significant
problem they will become unacceptable to the 'speed kills' bandwagon."

"To suggest that 35mph past a school gates at 3:45am and 3:45pm are equal
offences is nothing less than absurd - but that's the message that Department
for Transport wishes to give out. No wonder British road safety is in free-
fall."

"Two strikes and you're out? These proposals stunk in 2004 and they still stink
now."

<ends>

Notes for editors
=================

Sunday People article

SafeSpeed's response to 2004 consultation:
http://www.safespeed.org.uk/consultation.doc


***

Also People Editorial:

http://www.people.co.uk/news/voiceofthe ... _page.html

TRY NEW WAYS TO TACKLE SPEEDING

SPEED cameras are widely seen as the parasites of motoring. Seven thousand yellow leeches across the country bleeding drivers dry.

And millions of pounds in fines later, a million motorists are now within one point of losing their licences.

That these cameras exist to raise revenue is incontestable. That they dramatically improve overall road safety is debatable.

Deaths on our roads only fell one per cent between 2005 and 2006. And the number of children killed went up 20 per cent.

The Government's answer to the increasing road rage felt by drivers is to introduce graduated fixed penalties next year.

That means motorists only a few mph over the limit will get just two points while excessive speeders face six.

The People might welcome this if it was accompanied by a proper safety strategy so we did not have just graduated penalties but graduated speed controls, too.

That means more 20mph zones outside schools where kids are most at risk and stiffer penalties for drivers who breach them.

That means raising the motorway speed limit to 80, which is perfectly safe in modern cars, when road conditions are good.

That means giving police more discretion to set limits on 50 and 60 roads depending on traffic flow, weather and obstructions.

So what that really means is VARIABLE electronic speed signs and more traffic cops to provide a visible presence as highway patrols.

Because the safest roads are always the ones which have the most police cars.

_________________
Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


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