"Speeding kills" - well that's what all the sales pitches of the road safety industry say and the average TV presenter accepts it unreservedly. But on close examination it is of course complete nonsense. Speeding cannot kill. We all survive the 120mph train journey, the 500mph air journey, Formula One racing drivers mainly survive the season... You get my drift. What kills people every year are a very very few drivers, driving either dangerously or without due care. The vast majority of accidents happen at speeds at 15mph. Often in the manoeuvre of turning right. A scan of the Road Traffic Laboratory research is very illuminating...
So why are the entire road safety resources taken up with an hypothesis which is so obviously flawed? Money, people! Profit! Here is how it is done. Select a purely arbitrary speed limit on a stretch of road. No scientific input is required, just think of a number, stick the figure on a pole. Then get a camera, either on a stick or better still in a mobile wagon. Park it discreetly, preferably where the speed limit is particularly low and unreasonable. Bingo, trawl 'em in. As a Lincolnshire policeman in my constituency observed, "it's like shucking peas".
Next job is to drive a coach and horses over the principles of English Law. Write to the vehicle's keeper, ascertain the driver and offer the choice of prosecution or a 'speed awareness' course. So, three points and fifty quid or eighty quid and lose half a day's pay or holiday if you are working. The Road Safety Partnership makes loadsamoney doing this and everyone gets rich, Directors of the company or parent companies, speed camera manufacturers and their salesmen. Trebles all 'round. Put your head through the door of the courses and see how many perfectly safe respectable middle England drivers are sitting there because they were caught doing a few miles an hour over the limit on the way to the shops,
It is a complete racket, but leave aside for a moment the moral question of intimidating motorists into parting with money to avoid prosecution in my young day it was a fiver in the driving licence no questions asked but the principle is the same.
Consider the appalling waste of resources. Would it not be a better use of a fully trained policeman to get out of his roadside vehicle and into the schools to teach hazard driving techniques to adolescent males who kill themselves in large numbers every year? Indeed a legitimate concern is perhaps as there are six times as many accidents in the kitchen than on our roads we should all have a resident cop sitting at the kitchen table.
One of the great hurdles that the Drivers' Union must overcome is the raw emotional blackmail of the charity sponsored grieving mother who is shamelessly exploited on TV to perpetuate the "speeding kills" myth.
I am delighted to join Keith Peat and his highly experienced team of real experts to get evidence-backed road safety measures in place and lose the profit motive which does such disservice to our motorists and drives a wedge between middle England and the police.
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