UK: Video Highlights BBC Speed Camera Censorship
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.
More by The Newspaper