We write to John Burbeck, Chief Constable of Warwickshire, concerning a rise in the proportion of excessive speed accidents.
Does a speed kills road safety policy make excessive speed accidents more likely?


Excessive speed accidents are rising in Warwickshire. We want to know why. Who better to ask than the Chief Constable?

17th October 2003
Chief Constable John Burbeck
Warwickshire Police Headquarters
PO Box 4
Leek Wootton
CV35 7QB

Dear Mr Burbeck,

Excessive speed accidents in Warwickshire

I have been reading the following document with interest: “Road Traffic Accidents and Casualties in Warwickshire 2002” prepared by the “Highways and Traffic Information group”. [link]

I refer to Table 15 that lists road accident contributory factors. I note that excessive speed is increasingly a contributory factor in accident causation in Warwickshire as follows:

1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
15.3% 16.7% 16.3% 16.2% 20.0% 17.6% 19.7% 20.2%

On a graph, these figures look like a fairly steady increase, with 1999 as an exceptional blip.

I would suggest that a 33% increase in the proportion of excessive speed accidents over a 7 year period is a serious matter that demands investigation. It seems to me that the cause must be either: 

a) speed enforcement policies are failing badly or

b) something is amiss in your reporting system.

I believe that we should expect to see increases in excessive speed accidents due to an excessive increase in speed enforcement by the mechanisms detailed on the following web page:


I would be extremely interested in your considered opinion of this important and worrying trend.

Yours sincerely

Paul Smith

CC: http://www.safespeed.org.uk/burbeck.html [this page]

Speed cameras cost lives

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Created 17/10/2003. Last update 17/10/2003