Fleet News

Cameras damage our trust in police

THE relationship between company car drivers and the police is being irretrievably damaged by a plague of speed cameras and the robotic nature of enforcement, a senior road safety figure has claimed.

Speaking at its annual lunch, Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) chairman John Maxwell said too many drivers believe that speed cameras are used purely as revenue generators, not for road safety.

He said: ‘Speed limits must be worthy of respect, if they are not to be ignored, and it is both essential and urgent that we settle on a sensible regime of limits and their enforcement.’

Directing his attention to Road Safety Minister Dr Stephen Ladyman, Maxwell thanked him for halting the installation of more speed cameras until a review of their road-safety value can be completed.

He added: ‘But do please accept that in addition to the review of camera use there needs to be a proper review of speed limits themselves – allowing for the possibility of raising limits under some circumstances and looking to replace automatic, inflexible, indiscriminate detection and enforcement with discretion.’

Ladyman responded with the promise that the Department for Transport was looking at its speed policy, including the role of speed cameras.

It is expected that this week Transport Secretary Alistair Darling will announce that the system whereby money raised from speeding is ploughed back into more camera sites will be axed, causing a levelling-off of the number of cameras – currently 6,000.

Ladyman said: ‘Safety cameras are reducing speeds and saving lives. But what we have to do is make sure they continue to be effective and deliver the best possible casualty reductions in the future.

At the IAM lunch, Dr Ladyman revealed his company car driving past, including his experience of driver training, while working for Pfizer.

He said: ‘Back when I was a company car driver, I did a Drive and Survive course.

‘The company I worked for realised that it was important to have their employees trained in defensive driving, which is why they chose Drive and Survive, and fleet driver training generally is an increasingly important part of the market.

‘Most employers recognise that they have a legal responsibility for the health and safety of their staff at work – but too many are failing to look after employees who drive as part of their job.’

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