London, 14 May 2001.
For immediate release.

Contact: Nigel Humphries

Press Release

Magistrates losing patience with speeding policy
... as Road Safety industry loses touch with reality
Magistrate Mick Morden recently spoke out against the policy of prosecuting drivers for the "victimless crime" of breaking poorly set speed limits in safe circumstances. The ABD believes Mr Morden is the courageous tip of a very large iceberg.

"More and more of those expected to enforce the law and issue penalties are seeing the sheer folly of vast numbers of citizens being brought before them for breaking ever more ridiculous and unnecessary speed limits," says the ABD's Nigel Humphries. "They are beginning to see that all they are doing is persecuting safe drivers when they should be improving driving standards."

Subsequent comments from other organisations demonstrate how out of touch with reality the road safety industry has become. Instead of using reasoned argument to get to the bottom of the causes of accidents, emotive outbursts are used to justify a safety policy that has failed miserably to reduce casualties over a ten year period.

This "emotional blackmail" approach to road safety effectively prevents any real debate about the best way to reduce casualties and is costing lives every day on Britain's roads.

"Sadly," continues Humphries, "these emotional responses simply distract attention away from dealing with the real causes of road crashes, which are related to poor observation and anticipation rather than exceeding a speed limit.

The ABD strongly believes that the current emphasis on speed limits distracts drivers from the complex issues that make for safe driving. Lower limits, hardline enforcement and speed cameras all imply that drivers simply have to drive slowly to be safe. A more enlightened policy which concentrated on improving the skill levels and awareness of all road users would be much more successful in making the UK's roads safer.


Notes for Editors