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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 12:35 
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SCOTS POLICE CHIEF CAUGHT SPEEDING ON NOTORIOUS ROAD

08:50 - 31 July 2007

The Highlands' top police officer has been caught speeding on one of the region's most dangerous roads, the Press and Journal can reveal.

Chief Constable Ian Latimer of Northern Constabulary was trapped driving at 72mph in a 60mph zone on the A9, a road where more than 60 people have died since 2002.

Yesterday Mr Latimer, a former president of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, admitted the driving offence in his own force area.

He said: "I made a mistake. On July 1st this year, in daylight on a clear open stretch of road on the A9, I miscalculated my speed, which was seen to be a maximum of 72mph within a 60mph limit."

The police chief received notice of the offence yesterday. He is expected to be given three points on his licence and a £60 fixed-penalty fine.

"I am annoyed with myself and accept full responsibility," he said. "Perhaps this will act as a warning to others. It can be seen quite rightly that the chief constable, in his own force area, is as accountable and subject to the law as any other individual."

Last night politicians and road safety campaigners said the incident proved Mr Latimer, who has served as head of the north force for six years, is not above the law.

But Norman Macleod, chairman of the Northern Joint Police Board, who described the incident as "unfortunate" rather than a serious matter, said the board would be taking the matter no further.

He added: "It's unfortunate for him and for the police that he was in that situation but we can't turn the clock back. He broke the law and he has to pay the price like anyone else."

Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign, based at Tain, said it proved that speed cameras have not made roads any safer.

"Something is clearly wrong," he said. "Are we to believe that our chief constable is an irresponsible driver?

"The truth is that none of us drive without exceeding the speed limit from time to time. Perhaps Mr Latimer will finally realise how important it is to target police resources at unsafe, rather than technically illegal, behaviours?

"The truth is that speed cameras catch ordinary, safe and responsible drivers while risky drivers are usually undetected. That's why speed cameras haven't made our roads safer."

Both Communities Safety Minister Fergus Ewing and Highland Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon admitted that they too had been caught speeding.

Mr Ewing, MSP for Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber, said: "I think we should recognise and applaud the chief constable as he has been completely candid in stating that he is angry with himself for this rare lapse.

"As someone who has had speeding offences in the past like the chief constable is now, I too am very much aware of the inherent risks of speeding."

Ms Scanlon said driving on the trunk road was a "frustrating experience".

She added: "When there is an opportunity to pick up speed, if only to keep up with the rest of the drivers, most people take advantage of it.

"I hope that the chief constable will be fined £60 and have three penalty points added to his licence like all the other mortals who drive too fast. I also hope that he will support the campaign to have the A9 dualled."

Eighteen people have died on roads in the Highlands since the beginning of the year, including four on the A9. It is unknown how many can be attributed to speeding drivers.

Research has shown that the Highland force area has the highest fatal accident rate per vehicle mile in Scotland.

Northern Constabulary has pointed to three contributory factors to the death rate - drink-driving, a failure to wear seatbelts and inappropriate speed.

***

Safe Speed issued the following PR at 09:26 this morning:

PR525: Another Speeding Police Chief - it's time to get real about road safety

news: for immediate release

According to North Scotland's leading daily newspaper today, the chief
constable of Northern Constabulary - Ian Latimer - has admitted speeding at
72mph in a 60mph speed limit on 1st July.

Paul Smith, founder of SafeSpeed.org.uk, said: "It's time to get real about
road safety. There is no possibility that Chief Constable Latimer was driving
irresponsibly - I'm confident that he was driving at a safe and appropriate
speed according to the circumstances. Yet our road safety policy makers are
determined to pretend that speed limit enforcement is central to road safety."

"Perhaps Mr Latimer will now admit that speed camera enforcement is ridiculous
and distracting. Perhaps he will admit that looking at the road ahead is always
more important than looking at the speedometer? Perhaps he will withdraw Police
support for the hated camera partnership?"

"The reality is that none of us can stick to the speed limit perfectly at all
times. Speed camera tickets are handed out at random to responsible drivers,
and waste life saving resources at every level in our road safety system."

"You can't measure safe driving in miles per hour. We must have real road
safety policies that encourage safe and responsible driving and not mere legal
compliance."

<ends>

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 13:10 
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Chief Constable Ian Latimer wrote:
He said: "I made a mistake. On July 1st this year, in daylight on a clear open stretch of road on the A9, I miscalculated my speed..."

How does someone 'miscalculate' their speed? (unless his speedo is in kph but I doubt that).

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 17:39 
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VERY good PR, Paul, I think it's angled just perfectly, emphasising how "normal" it is to exceed the limit at times, even for safe and experienced drivers.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 17:53 
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Quote:
How does someone 'miscalculate' their speed? (unless his speedo is in kph but I doubt that).


Send him instructions on how he should stare at the speedo rather than the road. :lol:

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“It has never been the rule in this country – I hope it never will be - that suspected criminal offences must automatically be the subject of prosecution” He added that there should be a prosecution: “wherever it appears that the offence or the circumstances of its commission is or are of such a character that a prosecution in respect thereof is required in the public interest”
This approach has been endorsed by Attorney General ever since 1951. CPS Code


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 18:48 
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Good PR, why not give the chief cons a months trial membership to SS?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 19:00 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
mega link

Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign, based at Tain, said it proved that speed cameras have not made roads any safer.

"Something is clearly wrong," he said. "Are we to believe that our chief constable is an irresponsible driver?



I think the answer is YES!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 19:08 
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Flying Dodo wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
mega link

Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign, based at Tain, said it proved that speed cameras have not made roads any safer.

"Something is clearly wrong," he said. "Are we to believe that our chief constable is an irresponsible driver?



I think the answer is YES!


So you believe that anyone who travels above the speed limit is irresponsible?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 19:16 
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Certainly not! Please don't infer I've said that at all.

I'll admit to doing 80 mph on the motorway when the conditions are safe to warrant that speed.

I was merely saying that the chief constable is irresponsible.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 19:23 
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Flying Dodo wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
mega link

Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign, based at Tain, said it proved that speed cameras have not made roads any safer.

"Something is clearly wrong," he said. "Are we to believe that our chief constable is an irresponsible driver?



I think the answer is YES!


Then the damage is indeed deep.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:21 
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Flying Dodo wrote:
Certainly not! Please don't infer I've said that at all.

I'll admit to doing 80 mph on the motorway when the conditions are safe to warrant that speed.

I was merely saying that the chief constable is irresponsible.

In what way?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 12:33 
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I believe he means it in a completely different way to what it is being interpreted. In that he is irresponsible for peddling laws which are stupid, road safety campaigns with damage road safety and therefore is irresponsible as is putting people in danger


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 14:00 
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I wouldn’t call him an irresponsible person. If he condones the use of speed cameras the way they are being used at present, I’d call him a hypocrite and, if he’s supposed to be setting us all an example then IMO he should have been punished more than what he has been.

When I read the article it was in the back of my mind whether he’s owned up to the offence just to appease the public, well if it’s good for the police then it’s good for the rest of us, especially with the publicity the police have been receiving lately.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 14:26 
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I'd be extremely surprised if he was driving irresponsibly or in an unsafe manner. He himself says it was "in daylight on a clear open stretch of road" - so I would believe that he was driving at a safe & appropriate speed.

Which begs the question, should that particular cashcam be there?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 17:45 
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I wonder if he asked to see his photographs and ensured the secondary check was up to scratch?

72mph gives 64 inches in one second more than the threshold speed (68mph).

That's not very far.
On second thoughts - he's got no chance - he's guilty - he must be because the camera NEVER lies!

I wonder why he didn't see the camera, and check his speed and slow down?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 18:10 
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I read in another article that he was caught by a mobile unit.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 16:22 
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Probably got caught on the famous stacker lanes near kingussie.

These have dual on one side and single carriage the other way - however both technically have 60mph limit applied to both sides. In most cases the lorries speed up on these sections ensuring that its very difficult to get anyone by in time.

The most annoying thing about this and the road is the forces inability to police HGV's who frequently flought the 40mph speed on this A road. If the HGV's did the 40mph - then they would be easier to overtake.

An HGV travelling at 40mph is easy to over take at 60mph on a safe piece of road - however if you have a 50mph lorry - then you have to break the speed limit to ensure safe overtake can be made. Add the 60mph at the stacker lanes - and you can easily hit the 72mph.

Unlike the establishment I'm open minded enough to see how easy it is to do this "by accident" or necessity. However I'd bet this "lapse" isnt such a one off that they are trying to make this out to be.

Takes a big man to admit the fault - takes a bigger man to realise that the system is wrong and unjust - takes an even bigger man to ensure that he drives at 60 and 70 when allowed to by law on the A9!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 16:37 
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Do enjoy the 3 points for the 3 years probation on your licence you'll now have to bear like the rest of us. Does the punishment fit the crime? Not really. You'd get less for being in possession of controlled substance or breach of the peace.

Perhaps we need to use the German system of fines and points.

There, if you make a small mistake like this - then your fined however not pointed. Only when you stray 21-25km/h (roughly 13mph-15.5mph) do you incur 1 point and a fine to start with.

In British terms this offence and poor man :D we're all talking about would have still carried a painful fine as it was only 12mph over posted limit of 60mph - but would have not endorsed his licence - which I think would have been a more comensurate response to a "mistake".

But hey I dont make the rules unfortunately :x


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