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Cameras are not the way

Published: 15 December 2004

Updated: 19 November 2014

Top cop Richard Brunstrom has admitted that he has had his ‘fingers burnt’ by placing too high an emphasis on speed cameras.

In a speech to the Institute of Advanced Motorists annual lunch, Brunstrom, who is well known for his harsh views on speeding, said that road safety policies have become too focused on the use of speed cameras.

He went on to call for a complete reform of the speed limits in the UK and more encouragement of better driving standards. He made no apologies for his tough stance on speeding but said there has to be more to road safety policies than just enforcement.

“There is no excuse for breaking speed limits,” said Brunstrom. “But the solution is not ever-greater enforcement. We need a root-and-branch reform of every speed limit in the UK, because if it is the duty of every citizen to obey the law, then they have to respect it in the first place. It has to have credibility and we do not have that.”

IAM chairman John Maxwell also spoke at the event and called for motorcyclists and car drivers to be included as part of the solution and not just part of the problem.

“Treat them fairly and get them back on-side and there will be a pay-back,” said Maxwell. “It may not necessarily be in the way the Treasury appears to understand best, but it will benefit road safety.

"Rehabilitating speed cameras – re-defining them as instruments of compliance, not capture – would do much to take the pressure off the vast majority of sensible drivers and riders who need little persuading that safety is common sense and should always come first."

Maxwell echoed Brunstrom’s call for a complete review of the country’s speed limits, adding that the message must be that, whatever the speed limit, it is inappropriate speed that kills.

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