We quite frequently hear from people that
we're the only voice speaking out against speed cameras. Sometimes it's
from motorists who agree with us, and sometimes it's from folk who accept
the government line on speed as gospel truth.
The latter group causes us some concern.
It's obvious that the government has expended a great deal of time and
money trying to sell the speed kills story, and it's hardly surprising
that many folk believe them.
This page will carry short emails from
road users of well above average experience who broadly support our position.
This is mainly intended as a clear counter to the suggestion that we are
"cranks" and hold minority or outlandish opinions. Any short email which
makes a compelling and/or coherent alternative case will also be published.
We'd especially like to hear from:
We want short emails, which include the following:
Road Safety Professionals
Police Traffic Officers
Advanced Driving Instructors
And anyone who has a special interest in safe
These emails must be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Details of your experience
Profession if relevant
Membership of professional bodies if relevant
Instructions to withhold your name if required
A short statement of your opinion on one or
more of the following propositions:
Speed limit enforcement has gone far too far
and is now making the roads more dangerous
Better training and especially better attitudes
are the only way to reduce bad driving
Exceeding the speed limit in itself does not
cause any accidents
I broadly support Safe Speed's aims (click
Anything else you might wish to say
Emails will not be published automatically.
We will not publish your email address
unless you ask us to.
We will not publish your name if you ask
us not to.
We will not release your email address
to any third parties.
Forum: This is now usually the best method.
You can post your opinion about the Safe
Speed campaign direct to the opinions section of our web based forums.
here) to view the opinions section
here) to post your opinion.
Forum posts are published automatically
You can also send us submissions anonymously.
|Actual emails reproduced
Mon, 9 Jun 2003 15:36:05 -0700
Better training and especially
better attitudes are the only way to reduce bad driving
As an Observer for the IAM
and RoADA Gold qualified, I never cease to be amazed by the number
of law-abiding new members who come to us for training. Certainly they
rarely exceed the posted limits, but their driving is often dangerous in
the extreme, including as it does an almost complete ignorance of hazard
awareness and the ability to choose an appropriate speed for the circumstances.
Within the space of a few hours it's possible to train them to take appropriate
action at most of the obvious, and many less obvious, hazards and become
much safer and more responsible drivers.
Why e-mail you with this?
Simple. It's not the speed they choose, but where they choose to do it
that's the problem. If we could just educate drivers to choose an appropriate
speed for the situation they find themselves in (which might be over the
posted limit on occasion), we could abolish speed limits and enjoy
an almost entirely accident-free road network. Training has to be the way
forward, rather than the current obsession with arbitrary limits, many
of which are frequently inappropriate in any case. Dumbing down driving
to the extent where adherence to speed limits is the ultimate objective
is at best an over-simplification, and at worst will result in more lives
Mon, 14 Jul 2003 23:36:50 +0100
I work as a front line Road
Safety Researcher for the city of Stoke-on-Trent, in my opinion I cannot
see what we hope to gain by criminalizing large portions of society for
exceeding the speed limit set on some of our roads.
Our roads for the most part
are little more than tarmac-ed cattle runs from previous centuries. Wouldn't
it be better to increase driving standards and re-engineer our roads totally
like the Dutch are trying to do, to give our country a proper vehicle
I just cannot see any gain
in having an inhuman camera which can't remind you like a police officer
can, if your driving standard is a little slack etc., and you need to pay
a tad more attention at that particular moment in time, that your driving
at that particular point in your journey may not be as sensible as you
Driving inattention causes
more casualties than speed - speed exacerbates injury in accidents definitely
- but if we want to seriously reduce accidents on our roads, we need a
better and more thoughtful, human, approach than what we seem to have now.
The "shoehorning" of categories
into the governments claim of 33% of accidents are caused by speed, has
harmed my personal profession undoubtedly, and has lead to many personal
attacks for me in my post - lets get back to the intelligent and open debate
that has lead Britain, along with Sweden to the best road safety record
in the world and move on.
Road Safety Researcher
Stoke-on-Trent City Council.
|by email: 8th
Road safety is an emotive
subject that sometimes attracts wild, insupportable comments to which politicians
and senior police officers attribute a disproportionate significance.
As with all social issues road safety must be approached in a calm, rational
way and dealt with democratically. In order to assist this process
we need balanced, well informed arguments from all sides not propaganda
of the type evidenced in many road safety conferences where only speakers
who support the motion are invited. It is to be regretted that some
road safety officers and police officers who hold alternative views are
often censured for not 'toeing the party line'. This is unhealthy
in a democratic society.
Safespeed is to be encouraged
to continue its work because it helps to adjust this imbalance and enjoys
a freedom of speech that is not always available to everyone. It
is essential that the information provided by Safespeed is made as widely
available as possible so that the public can make a sound judgment
unfettered by those in influential positions who hold extreme views.
Road Safety Officer &
retired Traffic Patrol Police Officer.
[Also displayed on the front
page of this web site]
|by email: 21st July 2003
[we'd exchanged emails talking
about dumbing down the UK roads]
Pretty disturbing trends
that seem to be in danger of geting a foothold. Hopefully, outfits like
yours and like-minded others might reach police ears and help to maintain
our standards and skill levels. God forbid that they do not listen and
we end up with a traffic culture (even halfway) as poor as here! [Norway]
My involvement with the police
stems from my position as chauffeur to HM Ambassador to Norway at the Embassy
As a former RAF Policeman
and military close protection officer there is a lot of scope for
exchange of info & ideas.
Just another example of how
generic the poor standards of driving are here:
It's holiday period here
which, thankfully, means a significant reduction in traffic, as most
Norwegians disappear to the mountains for the period. Nevertheless, during
my thirty mile journey today, and whilst conciously trying to 'ignore'
the constant 'minor everyday antics,' I saw seven overtakes which almost
ended in tragedy (five of which were on a three lane motorway with
hardly any traffic!!). I won't go into detail, suffice to say that no one
checked their mirrors, only one indicated their intention - and then carried
out the manoevre at a point where any normal motorist would have regarded
it as a very good attempt at death by automobile! (However, they did indicate
.... once, so that bestowed upon them the right to pull out....?!)
The other overtake involved
a passenger service bus that, in deciding to occupy lane two of the three
lane m' way, (for what reason I couldn't see - lane one was unoccupied!),
caused the two vehicles already in that lane to it's left to 'emergency
brake', despite there being no traffic behind them and no vehicles in the
lane to their left?!!!!
If it wasn't so serious,
it would be be simply hilarious!!
Little wonder then that,
well balanced and advanced drivers (would) find it infuriating to drive
here due to the sheer frequency of such practices.
|by email: 25th July 2003
I spent over 7 years as a
Police Officer until being forced to retire with severe injuries sustained
on duty, and now spend my days selling BMWs meaning I have to accompany
around 10 different drivers a week on test drives.
In my entire 7+ years as
a Police Officer I never attended an accident I felt was caused purely
by excessive speed. Beyond a doubt accidents are caused by a combination
of factors most notably poor observation, poor anticipation, poor training
and more often "bad driving". On a daily basis I see people failing to
indicate their intentions at roundabouts or junctions, poor lane discipline,
poor judgement of speed and distance and plain inconsiderate driving. How
many near misses are caused by speed limited lorries pulling out in front
of faster cars on dual carriageways causing tailbacks and aggression? How
often have you seen a driver nodding off at the wheel, or driving in horrendous
conditions with no lights on?
Speed cameras and talivans
only catch "speeders" but are unable to educate or spot bad driving. Intelligent
policing with discretion and better training and attitudes are the only
My two favourite sayings
are " Good driving is no accident" and the acronym C.O.A.S.T meaning Concentration,
Observation, Attitude, Space and Time (meaning allowing time to complete
your journey without pressure). And of course "You can't measure safe driving
in miles per hour" !!!!
All the best. Keep up the
Nigel Dunne, Police Officer,
retired due to injury.
|by email: 30th
I have just found your website
and I am truly impressed. I am an advanced driver and member of IAM
of 26 years accident-free driving experience who has been becoming more
and more angry about the lies we are being told by this utterly dishonest
government. I fully and unreservedly endorse every word contained
in your perfectly marvellous website and I wish you every blessing and
Yours in deep respect,
See Safe Speed page: (pacts.html)
for all material related to this letter.
|By email from a retired Police officer
4th December 2003
I retired from the police in 1995 but I
still retain friendships with serving officers many of whom are quite rightly
disturbed at the direction which law enforcement is taking. But to start
from basics, let me acquaint you with what I consider to be some of the
root causes of the poor service we see today. Firstly, there are
many senior officers like Mr. Brunstrom. Their primary purpose in
life is self advancement. This has, to some extent, been encouraged by
the degree entrant, fast track recruit who, provided they fulfil certain
basic requirements, are guaranteed rapid promotion. These "Bramshill
boys" never spend enough time doing basic police work to really grasp the
principles of being a "Bobby". I have seen many whose single goal
in life is promotion and, frankly, they could not care less about serving
the community, crime detection or any of the other basic functions of a
proper police officer. These people often spend more time dreaming up "initiatives"
with which they hope to impress rather than just getting on with the job.
In a service where there is no tangible "end product", justification is
done through statistics known as "Home Office returns". It is easy to exploit
this system and can even be used to create an apparent problem where, in
reality, little or none
exists. Let figures show that, for
example, speeding is a growing problem and, highlighting your own part
in it of course, propose an "initiative" to deal with it. Again,
using figures to show that results are being achieved can reflect very
beneficially upon the instigator of the "initiative". This has encouraged
a culture of "empire building" - identify a problem, enhance it beyond
it`s true proportions, assign one or two officers to deal with it exclusively
and before long, you have a "Squad" or "Unit" with it`s own command structure
dealing with what, in reality, is something that has hitherto been adequately
dealt with during the course of everyday policing.
This has happened everywhere in the service.
There are now Squads and Units dealing with virtually everything from speeding
to family violence - all of which, used to be very adequately dealt with
by the uniformed bobby and when law enforcement meant that we were all
a damn sight safer than we are now!
By way of example, I recently spoke to
an old colleague who is still serving and at very senior rank. He
told me that where in my town, the central police station used to parade
an Inspector, two Sergeants and fifteen or more constables on it`s rota
on EVERY relief, it was quite common to see the town centre now being covered
by as few as two officers. The rest have moved on to "Squads" of
one sort or another.
Uniformed policing is now seen as just
a stepping stone and as soon as probation is completed, the young officers
looking for a plain clothes job in one or other of the squads, MANY of
which, are not even in their own force area for which the council tax payer
foots a hefty bill. I am told that these "Squads" are, generally, of limited
productive capability with young officers in jeans and tee shirts wandering
around the station, sheet of paper in hand, looking important, setting
up "meetings", or "briefings" to do "a job" which a few years ago, the
uniformed beat bobby would have done as part of his everyday duties. Of
course, a young bobby, able to say he on this "squad" or that "unit", has
shades of "The Bill" about it and is infinetely more glamorous than being
just a uniformed constable even though, in essence, the job being done
is exactly the same. Even he, as a senior officer, felt exasperated.
This is where, despite the increases in numbers, all the street bobbies
have disappeared to. Of course, to deal with all the figures and targets
generated, the civilian support services have swollen beyond belief.
This is why the taxpayer is getting less and less service despite paying
more and more taxes and why we are seeing civilian "Street Wardens" and
community bobbies "for rent" by residents associations who can afford to
What I am trying, in a long winded way
to say is that the rash of speed cameras is probably the result of some
promotion - hungry Bramshill boy`s plan to further his own career and which
band wagon, many others have jumped upon. The cash generated has
been an unforeseen bonus. Unfortunately, the punishment doesn`t stop at
the fine. The insurance companies make the most of the attendant
penalty points to jack up premiums for the three years that they are on
your licence - or even more. If cameras are to stay, as it would
appear, then unless careless,reckless or dangerous driving is an element,
mere speeding should not attract points. The fine should be sufficient.
Name withheld by request.