UK: Video Highlights BBC Speed Camera Censorship

The Newspaper
by The Newspaper

On April 21, Keith Jones, a driver living in Epsom, Surrey watched a BBC News clip intended to showcase the terrible consequences of speeding. The video included footage taken from a safety camera van on a bridge overpass in Norfolk. “The first part contained the usual dire warnings about the danger of speeding,” Jones recalled. “Later in the sequence actual videos made by the speed camera van were shown. This included one video of a driver braking so hard on seeing the speed trap that he lost control and spun out all over the three lanes of the road. After some violent fishtailing the car eventually collided with the central reservation and lost a wheel.” Jones petitioned the BBC to release it. Auntie Beeb refused. Jones then asked the Norfolk Safety Camera Partnership for a copy of the raw camera footage. It refused. Jones petitioned the UK Information Commissioner to force the video’s release. The government quango ruled that “journalistic content” is exempt from freedom of information laws. The Association of British Drivers (ABD) joined Jones’ crusade, calling on the BBC to provide license payers with the video. “It would seem that the BBC is not interested in presenting facts… unless they have first been approved by the powers that be,” ABD Chairman Brian Gregory complained. “This is the kind of censorship that the BBC reports to exist in Russia, yet here we have indications of the same censorship in Britain. We call upon the BBC to re-instate this video without delay.” Meanwhile, Jones decided to recreate the incident in a humorous animation, presented here.

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  • Detroit-Iron Detroit-Iron on Oct 15, 2008

    Top Gear did a hilarious bit about speed cameras with Osama Bin Laden driving a van.

  • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Oct 15, 2008

    Lost control while braking? Either the car had serious mechanical problems and was unfit for the road or that person needs their license pulled until they take some proper driver training, though I doubt it would help much if they're as incompetent as they sound in the description.

  • TireGuy TireGuy on Oct 15, 2008

    I lived for a long time in Hanover, Germany. There you have about 10 Red Light cameras. People who know the cameras sometimes immediately brake hard when the light turns yellow, even if they are already very close to the light and could pass easily. This has repeatedly taken the cars behind by surprise which thought they could continue on yellow as well. Accordingly, the cameras which shall prevent accidents for red light driving caused many accidents for too hard braking. On one crossing the camera was removed because there were too many accidents due to the camera.

  • Campisi Campisi on Oct 15, 2008

    We can't really tell whether or not the driver that crashed was poorly operating the car or not without the film. Since the BBC has stashed it away, I suppose we'll never know.