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 Post subject: The 104mph Police Chief
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2004 19:02 
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I've been on two Manchester radio stations this evening talking about the Police chief who got caught at 104mph.

I've also issued the following PR:

PR121: Comment on the 104mph Police Chief

News. For immediate release

Apparently an assistant chief constable in Manchester has been fined
and received 6 penalty points on his driving licence today following
his vehicle being recorded at 104mph on the M6(toll).

Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign said: "This
illustrates the hypocrisy and utterly flawed nature of modern speed
enforcement. The Police now enforce arbitrary speed limits
irrespective of the circumstances and irrespective of danger caused. I
don't imagine for one moment that [name] was driving dangerously or
recklessly, so what on earth is the point of expending public money
pursuing a purely technical violation? We can't expect to improve road
safety unless we concentrate properly on real road dangers."

Paul continues: "I am sure that some members of the public will be
outraged at the speed in this case, but that is just evidence of the
dangerous gap in modern thinking. Far too often we fail to distinguish
between "a safe speed for the conditions", (which is highly important)
and our speed limits (which are no better than a very rough guide)..
If the M6(toll) was in Germany it would have no speed limit and
traffic would use it routinely at 120mph - with no safety concerns. It
is very important indeed that drivers do not travel too fast for the
conditions, but exceeding a speed limit in suitable conditions has no
effect on safety. As we say: you can't measure safe driving in miles
per hour."

<ends>

And I have received the following Police Statement kindly forwarded by Ben Webster at The Times:

===========================
The head of Greater Manchester Police force's traffic unit has been fined and received six penalty points on his licence after driving more than 100mph on a motorway.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Thomas was caught doing 104mph on the M6 toll road.

He was fined £450 and had his licence endorsed by North Staffordshire Magistrates sitting at Stoke. Thomas said: "On the day in question, the driving and road conditions were good and I was part of a group of around 15 cars all doing around the same speed. "I considered that my manner of driving was safe."

"However, exceeding the speed limit by this amount is unacceptable and I sincerely regret my error of judgment. "Excessive speed is a contributory factor in many road traffic incidents and it is everyone's duty to drive safely and at a reasonable speed at all times.

"I remain committed to reducing the number of serious road traffic accidents that occur in Greater Manchester."

A Force spokeswoman said: "Mr Thomas is responsible for traffic duties at Greater Manchester Police and that responsibility will remain."
===========================

_________________
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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