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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 February, 2005, 12:44 GMT
Speeding fine for police driver
David Coleman
Chief Constable Coleman has taken a strong stance on speeding
The chauffeur of a police chief has been convicted of speeding along the M1 at 97 mph.

Kenneth Campbell, 57, was driving Derbys Chief Constable David Coleman when he was stopped by police in Herts.

He was given four points on his licence and fined 300 after admitting the charge in a letter to Hemel Hempstead Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.

Mr Coleman has been criticised by motoring organisations for not telling his driver to slow down.

Driver apology

Mr Coleman's force was one of the first in the country to create a Safety Camera Partnership.

The two men were approaching junction 10 of the motorway on 18 November when their vehicle was spotted travelling at more than 70mph, prosecutor Margaret Mascaren told the court.

It sends out a message that there is one law for him and one for us
Ernie Harbon, anti-speed-camera campaigner

In a written statement read out in court, Mr Campbell, who lives in Derbyshire, said: "I agree with the details outlined in the statement of facts and would like to apologise to the court for my actions."

The car safety group Brake told BBC News that drivers need to take care "not only when they are driving but when they are passengers" in a car.

'Mixed message'

Anti speed-camera campaigner Ernie Harbon from Derbyshire, who went to jail to oppose speed cameras, said: "He has let his driver do 97 mph on the M1 - this is ridiculous.

"It sends out a message that there is one law for him and one for us."

Mr Harbon spent seven days in jail for not paying a fine after he drove eight miles over the speed limit on a country lane in Derbyshire.

Mr Coleman said in a statement: "I wish to make it clear that I was not driving, I had not at any time encouraged or instructed the driver to exceed the speed limit, and at the time I had personally been on duty for 17 hours.

"I have no intention of offering any of the many lame excuses for speeding that have been offered to me by numerous members of the public over many years."

A police spokeswoman said Mr Coleman would not comment on whether he had been awake at the time of the offence or aware of the speed at which Mr Campbell was driving the vehicle.


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