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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 03:38 
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/a ... ge_id=1770

The speed trap cop-out: Police are accused of neglecting dangerous driving offences

By MATTHEW HICKLEY

Police are targeting speeding motorists as "easy pickings" while ignoring more dangerous drivers who are harder to catch or prosecute, critics claim.

Convictions for speeding have risen sharply, from 700,000 in 1997 to 1.9million in 2005.

Yet during the same period there was a dramatic decline in the numbers punished for ignoring traffic signs or drink-driving.

Home Office figures uncovered by the Tories show that convictions for "neglecting pedestrian rights" - failing to stop at crossings or driving on pavements - fell by 55 per cent, from 6,322 to 2,939.

Convictions for failing to obey traffic directions dropped by 14 per cent, while figures for drink or drugdriving were down 7 per cent.

Safety campaigners point out that the number of roadside speed cameras has trebled in six years to 5,000 - the highest in Europe - yet Britain is sliding down the road safety league.

Tory police reform spokesman David Ruffley said: "It looks like speeding convictions have gone up because they are 'easy pickings' compared with more difficult but equally dangerous offences."

Between 1990 and 2000, the number of speeding prosecutions leapt by two-thirds.

Over the same period, prosecutions for dangerous, careless or drunken driving fell by 45 per cent, and 37 per cent fewer were punished for ignoring signs or pedestrian rights.

Driving licence and insurance offences were down 13 per cent, and MoT and vehicle condition offences fell by 16 per cent.

Safe Speed campaign spokesman Paul Smith said: "We have completely taken our eye off the ball in policing road safety - prosecuting millions for speeding but missing the true causes of danger on our roads."

He blamed speed camera manufacturers for persuading policy-makers to focus more and more on automated speeding tickets.

"The hardware led to a change in philosophy which has left us with a bad road safety policy which is not addressing the real problems."

Edmund King, of the RAC Foundation, said: "It is quick and easy to issue a couple of thousand speeding tickets a week using cameras.

"It is much harder to catch a couple of drug-drivers using time-consuming roadside tests.

"The irony is that catching those two drug- drivers may actually make the roads safer than prosecuting hundreds of motorists for driving just over the speed limit."

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 05:38 
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Safe Speed issued the following PR at 04:08 this morning:

PR575: Road Policing left to cameras: a deadly mistake

news: for immediate release

The Daily Mail today [1] highlights the decline in traffic offences detected by
police alongside the growth in offences detected by speed camera. This is
something that has long been of concern to the Safe Speed road safety campaign.
We first highlighted the issue in 2002 [2].

The statistics are published annually, some considerable time in arrears. The
latest copy [3] was 2005 figures, published by the new Justice Ministry on 31st
October 2007. Previous copies were published by The Home Office.

1990 statistics are available. [4]
2000 statistics are available. [5]

Paul Smith, founder of SafeSpeed.org.uk, said: "Leaving roads policing to
cameras was a terrible idea. Speed cameras only detect speed above a speed
limit - which isn't necessarily a cause of danger - but our skilled traffic
police can detect and prevent all sorts of risky behaviour."

"There has been a three-way decline in traffic policing, Firstly the number of
dedicated traffic police has declined. Secondly the officers that we do have
are less available and usually spend more time timed up with paperwork than
they do on patrol. Thirdly, and perhaps more controversially, the training and
the tasking of the few officers who out on patrol is less effective than it
used to be. Targets have taken responsibility and discretion away from front
line officers who are less able to use their excellent judgements to focus
their efforts on the riskiest offenders."

"Everyone knows that effective traffic policing is important to road safety. We
need more officers and even more importantly we need to use the ones we have
much more efficiently - we need them out on patrol, not sat behind their
desks."

"The overall road safety results show that leaving roads policing to cameras
was a deadly mistake. We've slipped to 20th in Europe for rate of improvement;
Road deaths haven't show a proper fall for well over a decade and annual
hospitalisations of road crash victims are rising significantly."

"We need to scrap the failed speed camera policy urgently and police the roads
properly to get British road safety back on track."

<ends>

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

[1] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/a ... ge_id=1770

[2] http://www.safespeed.org.uk/police.html

[3] http://www.justice.gov.uk/docs/motoring ... ts2005.pdf

[4] http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs2/hosb2292.pdf

[5] http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs/hosb2401.pdf

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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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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 08:59 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
The speed trap cop-out: Police are accused of neglecting dangerous driving offences



Sun News Paper wrote:
Cop Speeders Dodge Justice
By Alastair Taylor

COPS are dodging prosecution by refusing to admit they were at the wheel of police cars caught by speed cameras.

Twenty-six officers – from the force whose chief constable Med Hughes has been banned for doing 90 in a 60mph limit – have had cases dropped.

They were not on emergency calls and are hiding behind a loophole which says the driver has to be identified before a fixed penalty ticket is issued.

When it involves the public the case will usually go to court. All the drivers are from the South Yorkshire force.

Bob Pitt, of the Police Federation, said “This is not necessarily a matter of our members refusing to come forward. There will be a lot of who have used a police vehicle fleetingly who didn’t realise they had gone through a speed camera and genuinely are unable to say they were the driver at the time.”

Boss Hughes, 49, was banned from driving for 42 days this week.


And at the same time they dodge prosecution themselves.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:15 
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Quote:
Safety campaigners point out that the number of roadside speed cameras has trebled in six years to 5,000 - the highest in Europe - yet Britain is sliding down the road safety league.


:shock: :shock: :shock: - National paper making reference (not by name) to safespeed as a SAFETY campaign group for once? A step in the right direction for repairing any damage done by morons(just it just be singular?) at the Guardian
Quote:
Tory police reform spokesman David Ruffley said: "It looks like speeding convictions have gone up because they are 'easy pickings' compared with more difficult but equally dangerous offences."


It's like he's shooting with a blind fold on, so close to getting it right, he then buggers up by still referring to speeding as dangerous by definition.


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