London, 17th Aug 2003.
For immediate release.

Contact the ABD

Press Release

Thames Valley Police Want 70% of Drivers to Stop Driving
The Association of British Drivers has condemned a statement made by Thames Valley Police that
"If drivers cannot stay within the speed limits then they should give up their licence."
TVP state on their website that around 70% of drivers regularly exceed the speed limit in 30mph zones.
ABD Spokesman Nigel Humphries said
"This pretentious statement smacks of the zero tolerance policy that was totally discredited a few years ago when the senior police officer advocating it was caught exceeding a speed limit himself by a national newspaper."
TVP's statement was made in response to the actions of Mr Paul Newman of Aylesbury, who has taken to standing beside a road with a sign warning other drivers of a speed trap ahead. Mr Newman was caught doing 40 on the 30mph road earlier this year, but states he was merely keeping up with the rest of the traffic on the road.
He has been greeted with hoots of support from passing drivers.
The road in question is a long straight dual carriageway and the 30mph speed limit is unreasonably low, which is exactly why the police target it with speed traps. Nearby there is a school on a narrow road - no speed cameras are ever seen here.
Thames Valley Police have threatened to prosecute Mr Newman for obstruction, despite the fact that 'Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership' of which TVP are a member, publicise the locations of their fixed and mobile speed cameras on their own website.
Nigel Humphries commented:
"Presumably we can expect TVP to issue this same threat to the partnership."
ABD Road Safety spokesman Mark McArthur-Christie said:
"The police repeatedly claim that speed enforcement is intended to slow people down, not prosecute them. This is exactly what Mr Newman is doing, so the police ought to be praising him for his actions. Instead, worried about less money in the bank at the end of the day, they see fit to threaten him."
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory said:
"People driving slightly over the speed limit but in a nonetheless safe manner are being harassed by the police. It is clear that TVP totally fail to perceive the effect that this unreasonable action is having on public support for the police."


Notes for Editors