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 Post subject: East Belfast Observer
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 14:28 
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Following our recent presentation, the following appeared:

http://www.eastbelfastobserver.com/obse ... 40_0_4_0_M

Local Tories Question Speed Cameras ?

Speed cameras are weapons of mass destruction ? this was the message heard at a public meeting held in East Belfast this week.

Keynote speaker at the event was Safespeed?s Paul Smith. This English based group has the sole objective of promoting better road safety, through improved legislation which properly targets dangerous drivers and unsafe behaviour.

He explained, ?In 1993 the roads in the UK were 10 times safer than in 1950. However, since 1993 we have seen a rise in the number of road deaths. This was the year that speed cameras were introduced in Britain.

?The number of road deaths is not rising throughout the world as countries like Germany, France and Italy have shown improvements. But a country like Australia shoes the same trend as the UK and they have more speed cameras than any other country in the world.?

During the meeting Mr Smith also criticised government policy.

He revealed, ?The government would have us believe that one third of all accidents are caused by speed but that is not true. Slowing down traffic alone will not reduce road accidents. It is easy to believe that speed kills; however it is a matter of faith not fact.?

Mr Smith argues that the way to stop road deaths is to find out what is really causing them.

?I believe that a large number of accidents are caused by driver carelessness and inattention. Therefore by asking car owners to worry about speed cameras means they will not be concentrating on the road ahead. I believe that speed cameras are almost like weapons of mass destruction as drivers stop looking at the road ahead and the reality is that more people will die.?

In conclusion Mr Smith believes that the key to reducing road accidents is education.

?We should be training drivers properly,? he explained. ?After you pass your test that is it and people should be aware that you can take advanced lessons. It is my opinion that speed cameras have to go because they are distracting the driver and they do not detect drunk drivers or joyriders.?

The conference was organised by the East Belfast Conservative Association. Their spokesperson, Terry Dick, believes the event was a huge success.

?The meeting was very successful. Paul Smith is going to be speaking at Westminster in the near future and we got to hear what he will say to the MPs. It also gave people living in East Belfast a chance to hear a different opinion on speed cameras.?

However Mr Dick also revealed his disappointment that no one from the police or the Department of Environment (DoE) was at the conference.

?I am very disappointed that a representative from the police or DoE could not come to the meeting. It is always nice to hear a balanced opinion. The members of the Conservative Association are not critical of the police but perhaps the fixed camera policy is not helping improve relations between the public and police.?

A police spokesperson said late last night, ?The PSNI carefully considered the invitation to take part in the public forum. Unfortunately, we did not consider it appropriate to contribute to the event. However by way of helpfulness to the forum organisers, a letter was sent outlining some key points about road safety.?

When contacted by the East Belfast Observer, a DoE spokesperson said, ?Road Safety declined the invitation because speed cameras are a matter for the PSNI. However the DoE supports any initiative that brings about the reduction of deaths and serious injuries on the roads.?

Author: Josephine Long | Posted on Apr 01, 2004

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 20:24 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
This English based group ...


What? Has the border moved north of Inverness? I thik we should be told!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 22:28 
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CJB wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
This English based group ...


What? Has the border moved north of Inverness? I thik we should be told!


Ha! I hadn't spotted that. (Actually the whole article is a bit of a mess. I was on about weapons of mass DISTRACTION, not weapons of mass destruction.)

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The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 22:40 
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A slightly more professional reporting can be found here:

http://www.politicsni.com/modules.php?n ... le&sid=600


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 22:51 
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orange wrote:
A slightly more professional reporting can be found here:

http://www.politicsni.com/modules.php?n ... le&sid=600


Yes, that's much better. I hadn't seen that one. Thanks.

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