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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 21:57 

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 21:00
Posts: 93
Location: Bristol
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11:00 - 22 June 2005
A Controversial road safety campaigner who wants speed cameras scrapped is to give a talk at a motorists' meeting. Paul Smith founded the Safe Speed road safety campaign, which argues that automated speed enforcement is neither safe nor appropriate. He wants all speed cameras to be scrapped, believing that they actually cause more road accidents than they prevent.

He will be the guest speaker at the June meeting of Bristol Advanced Motorists and Motorcyclists when he gives a presentation entitled The Truth about Speed Cameras.

Mr Smith, aged 50, gave up his 25-year career as a professional engineer in 2003 to campaign full-time for improved road safety.

Since setting up Safe Speed in 2001, Mr Smith has carried out more than 8,000 hours of research into the overall effects of speed camera policy on UK road safety.

He believes this is more detailed research than anything carried out by any other organisation.

His controversial conclusion is that speed cameras actually make our roads more dangerous, not safer.

Mr Smith said: "These aren't the wild conclusions of somebody who has been caught by a speed camera - I've never been caught by a speed camera. There's an awful lot of misinformation about speed cameras.

"One of the purposes of this talk is to identify the key areas of misinformation so people can think about this issue afresh, as well as exposing flaws in the Government's case."

Mr Smith says many road accidents are caused by drivers taking their eyes off the road to look out for speed cameras.

"Drivers are being put under pressure," he said. "It's not rocket science. We're giving drivers misinformation, threatening and distracting them."

Mr Smith hit the headlines when he accused speed camera chiefs in Avon and Somerset of building a money-spinning "empire".

He said bosses at the Avon and Somerset Safety Camera Partnership were obsessed with setting up a sprawling organisation, rather than actually combating dangerous drivers and said the partnership was "out of control".

Mr Smith said: "£700 million has been generated in speed-camera fines, and 13 million motorists have been convicted, which is more than a third of the total.

"Speed cameras have created a lot of vested interests who want the status quo to continue."

Safe Speed does not campaign against speed limits or what it calls appropriate enforcement of motoring laws.

l Entrance to the meeting next Tuesday at BAWA Health And Leisure Centre, Southmead Road, Filton, at 7.30pm, is free. For more information call 07071 201 173.

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