30 August 2004

A relaxation of Britain’s speed camera rules will allow police to set up speed traps further away from the site of accident blackspots. Although the huge increase in speed cameras has failed to reduce road deaths, the new rules will approve camera installation further away from dangerous stretches of road.

Camera supporters, led by Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom of North Wales police, complain that they often have to wait until someone is killed or injured before a camera can be erected.

However, motorists’ groups attacked the new rules. ‘The authorities need to concentrate on improving driving skills and target those driving recklessly and dangerously,’ said Nigel Humphries of the Association of British Drivers.

Meanwhile, the Conservative Party has unveiled a five-point plan claimed to ‘help save sensible drivers’. The suggestions include restricting traffic wardens to ticketing illegally parked cars, making local councils obtain emergency service approval before installing traffic-calming measures, allowing cars with passengers to use bus lanes, reigning in cowboy wheel clampers and increased use of speed-activated flashing warning signs.

‘Driving a car is a necessity, and should not be made a misery by government policy,’ said shadow transport secretary Damian Green.

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