This is a good thing:
First of all, “Britain’s most senior traffic policeman” is just that because he’s more or less the ONLY traffic policeman.
As a result of the tenure system introduced into police forces and the sometime abolition of traffic policing units, most police seen on the roads have no proper experience or training as traffic policemen.
Instead, speed cameras are used to detect drunk drivers, tired drivers, dangerous and careless drivers, stolen vehicles and.. oh.. no .. wait. Speed cameras can’t do any of that.
Let’s look at Chief Constable Baldylard’s rationale.
“We have invested heavily in infrastructure. There is a danger that it is dwindling away. I think a vacuum has been created and people are reacting to that inappropriately,” he told The Times. “If nothing is put in place, speeds will rise and casualties will grow.” Driving standards will deteriorate, child road safety programmes will be hit and the education of offenders will cease, Mr Giannasi said.
Okay – is that all? What? There’s something else? Oh…
The Treasury would also lose a “significant” revenue stream.
Here in the UK, we already have the safest roads in the EU, by deaths and serious injuries per passenger kilometre, and still they want to screw us more.
4x more people die as a result of hospital acquired infections than on the road.
Spend the money that matey above wants for speed cameras on hospital cleaners and I think we may see a better return on our investment.
Let’s also expose Baldy’s logical fallacy. From the Tellygiraffe, for the non-paywallers out there:
But Mr Giannasi told Today: ”The evidence is that road safety camera partnerships have achieved significant reductions in road casualties over the last decade – there are almost half the number of casualties now that there were eight years ago.”
By which I mean, here are some of the other factors that will have contributed to to reductions in casualties:
- Years of increased traffic without corresponding increase in road capacity means everyone has slowed down in the last 10 years simply because of constantly worsening congestion.
- Cars have become much safer due to EU and US rules – airbags and ABS are the norm now. Passenger safety measures built into cars are now much more stringent. Brake & tyre technologies have improved. Traction control systems have improved.
- The cost of fuel has persuaded many people (me included) to drive more sedately.
Oh and by the way, the outcome in Swindon doesn’t (yet) reflect Chief Constable Baldylard’s prediction.
So Fatty McFailcop needs to get back in his box.