August 16, 2004 at 10:55 am #8995XV16Participant
CONTROVERSIAL chief constable Richard Brunstrom has admitted traffic cops hide behind signs and walls to catch speeding bikers.
And he wants more roadside cameras to snap motorists who break the limit on North Wales roads.
The comments by the region’s top cop have provoked anger from anti-speed camera campaigners, who claim they do nothing for road safety .
Mr Brunstrom said North Wales Police were already taking advantage of new rules, which are only in draft form, to catch speeding bikers on the A5 in North Wales.
He said: “We are hiding behind road signs and walls. We are not trying to trick people but we are saying: ‘You don’t know where we will be’.”
The head of road policing for the Association of Chief Police Officers admitted Britain’s existing 6,000 cameras had failed to cut the overall death rate.
“We have got cameras at all the identifiable hotspots and yet deaths haven’t gone down because they are happening elsewhere,” he said.
Yesterday his comments were attacked by the Association of British Drivers.
A spokesman said: “Richard Brunstrom gleefully admitted that his forces are already breaking current regulations by hiding cameras behind walls and roadsigns.
“Clearly, as he is still in his job, the government finds this behaviour by our police forces acceptable despite their previous assurances all cameras would be visible.
“It’s obvious the police and the government are still blind to the fact their beloved cameras are failing dismally to reduce deaths, not only away from camera sites but at them too. The ABD have for years searched for some shred of statistically valid evidence cameras are reducing deaths – so far none has been found.”
Welsh Tory David Jones, who will fight marginal Clwyd West Westminster seat, said Mr Brunstrom’s comments suggested cameras were there to generate money through fines, not aid road safety.
Mr Brunstrom said: “We have a particular problem with motorcyclists slowing down for the cameras but then speeding up and dying on the next corner.
“We need to keep people’s speed down the whole stretch of the road.”
The ABD spokesman said: “Whilst it is true that cameras may reduce speeds of legally registered and sober drivers, these are rarely the people who are crashing above the speed limit. It appears likely however, that the distraction caused by cameras is leading to less concentration upon hazard avoidance thus negating any advantage of lower speeds.”
Later this year the government will decide whether to allow police to put cameras anywhere on a “continuous stretch of road where three approved spots already exist.”
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