UK: Tory Government Will Keep Speed Cameras

The Newspaper
by The Newspaper

The UK Conservative Party, widely expected to replace the Labour government at the next general election, yesterday announced that it would continue issuing two million speed camera tickets each year. Shadow Secretary of State for Transport Theresa Villiers announced plans to tweak the current photo enforcement system while rejecting calls to scrap the devices altogether. “It’s time to put a stop to Labour’s cash cow camera culture,” Villiers said in a speech to the Conservative Party convention. “Ladies and gentlemen, a Conservative government would not fund any new fixed speed cameras because they are not the best way to make our roads safer.”

A freeze on the existing number of cameras would still leave Britain with 1.2 speed cameras for every 10,000 in population — more than nearly any other country in the world. The proposal allows for an expansion in the total number of cameras as long as local officials meet certain requirements when adding devices.

“If local authorities want new cameras they’ll have to prove nothing else works better and they’ll have to find the money themselves,” Villiers said.

The Tory reform proposal would also require the publication of a complete annual report with statistics on the performance of each speed camera. Speed camera partnerships would be dissolved. The Conservatives also promised to end the Department for Transport’s pro-speed camera marketing and advertising campaigns and replace them with support for alternative road safety strategies.

“The truth is the fines [speed cameras] generate are blinding Labour to the proven merits of other better ways to keep our roads safe: like education, like vehicle activated signs, like traffic police,” Villiers said.

The promise of a new focus drew optimistic support from advocacy groups fully opposed to the use of automated ticketing machines.

“If this policy becomes a reality, we hope that a return to intelligent and proper road safety messages might begin to repair some of the last seventeen years of damage,” said Claire Armstrong, co-founder of the Safe Speed Road Safety Campaign. “Focusing on the wrong road safety policies and messages prevent the correct ones from being implemented. We must ensure that road users understand the need to be responsible for all their actions, and that they are encouraged to seek ways in which to improve their abilities, skills, knowledge judgment and attitude.”

The Association of British Drivers was particularly pleased by the pledge for greater transparency.

“We are delighted that the Conservatives are breaking ranks with contemporary, negative thinking on safety and congestion,” ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries said. “For too long, badly thought out policies have obstructed our roads and penalized safe driving, and the mandarins in both town halls and Whitehall have been able to fob off legitimate objections by keeping the data they have collected under wraps.”

Lord Andrew Adonis, the current Transport Secretary and Labour Party member, called the Tory speed camera plan “a total muddle and mystery.”


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  • TonyJZX TonyJZX on Oct 08, 2009

    most western two party countries are like this the govts. know they can do what they want whoever you vote for you'll get the same thing

  • Vento97 Vento97 on Oct 08, 2009
    TonyJZX: most western two party countries are like this the govts. know they can do what they want whoever you vote for you’ll get the same thing Right on the money, Tony!!! I have a similar saying in my home country, the U.S.A. : "Democrats and Republicans - first-world prosperity for themselves, third-world prosperity for the rest of us..."
  • 6-speed Pomodoro I had summer and winter tires for a car years ago. What a pain in the butt. You've permanently got a stack of tires hogging space in the garage and you've got to swap them yourself twice a year, because you can't fit a spare set of tires in a sportscar to pay someone else to swap 'em.I'd rather just put DWS06's on everything. But I haven't had a sportscar in 8 years, so maybe that's a terrible idea.
  • ShitHead It kicked on one time for me when a car abruptly turned into my lane. Worked as advertised. I was already about to lean into the brake as I was into the horn.
  • Theflyersfan I look at that front and I have to believe that BMW and Genesis designers look at that and go "wow...that's a little much." Rest of the car looks really good - they nailed the evolution of the previous design quite well. They didn't have to reinvent the wheel - when people want a Mustang, I don't think they are going to cross-shop because they know what they want.
  • Theflyersfan Winters go on around Halloween and Summers go on in late March or early April. However, there were some very cold mornings right after the summers went on that had me skidding a bit due to no grip! I do enough (ahem) spirited driving on empty hilly/mountain roads to justify a set of sticky rubber, and winters are a must as while there isn't much snow where I am (three dustings of snow this entire winter), I head to areas that get a bit more snow and winter tires turns that light, RWD car into a snow beast!
  • SCE to AUX My B5.5 was terrible, but maybe the bugs have been worked out of this one.