London, 4 Aug 2000.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

ABD Condemns Double Standards In Traffic Policing
One rule for politicians or the police, another for the public - the Association of British Drivers condemns the arrogance and hypocrisy behind double standards in traffic policing.
As news emerged of high-level procrastination as to whether to prosecute the Home Secretary's chauffeur for allegedly exceeding the national speed limit by 33mph on a wet motorway, drivers exceeding other limits by as little as 1 mph in better conditions could face charges under new police guidelines.

More worryingly, the case against Wiltshire motorist Linda Smart, booked for taking a drink of water at traffic lights, is proceeding to Court.

ABD Spokesman Bernard Abrams comments: "The law must be seen to be fair and reasonable, and to apply equally to everybody. Certainly there must be exceptions for the emergency services in the right circumstances. Travelling at over 100mph in the rain just because you are late for a meeting isn't accepted for civilian drivers, however competent, so it shouldn't be accepted for Jack Straw."

"As for the Linda Smart case," continues Abrams, "senior traffic officers in Hampshire saw the light when they tore up the ticket issued to a motorist on the M3 who had been handed part of a chocolate bar by his wife. In contrast, Wiltshire police seem hell-bent on alienating, rather than educating, the public. The lack of judgement being shown by patrol officers and their bosses is worrying."

The ABD says: motorists are fed up with the attitude of some sections of the police towards car drivers, bearing in mind the rising tide of violent, sexual and property crimes which are not subject to the same over-zealous policing.

The police need the support of this country's 30 million drivers, but are losing it. Hiding behind a safety flag of convenience will not wash - police attitudes must change. Tearing up Linda Smart's ticket would be a good place to start.


Notes for Editors