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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 April, 2004, 16:55 GMT 17:55 UK
Traffic police chief did 104mph
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Thomas
Thomas is responsible for roads policing in Greater Manchester
The police chief in charge of traffic in Greater Manchester has been caught speeding along a motorway at 104mph.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Thomas was fined 450 and given six penalty points by North Staffordshire magistrates on Thursday.

He said he sincerely regretted his "error of judgement", but had thought he was driving safely at the time.

Thomas said he remained committed to reducing the number of traffic accidents caused by speeding.

I considered that my manner of driving was safe
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Thomas
Magistrates heard Thomas had been clocked doing 104mph on the M6 Toll road near Birmingham.

After appearing in court, he defended his actions on the day.

In a statement he said: "On the day in question, the driving and road conditions were good, and I was part of a group of around 15 cars all doing around the same speed.

"I considered that my manner of driving was safe. However, exceeding the speed limit by this amount is unacceptable and I sincerely regret my error of judgement.

"Excessive speed is a contributory factor in many road traffic incidents and it's everyone's duty to drive safely and at a reasonable speed at all times."

He added: "I remain committed to reducing the number of serious road traffic accidents that occur in Greater Manchester."

Trauma and bereavement

A GMP spokesman confirmed: "Assistant Chief Constable Thomas has responsibility for traffic issues at GMP and those responsibilities will remain."

As well as being in charge of roads policing, Thomas is head of divisional policing in Greater Manchester.

A spokesman for anti-speeding campaigners, Brake, said: "Driving at excessive speeds like this greatly increases the chance of a car crash.

"Someone in Mr Thomas' position, who has seen at first hand the consequences of speeding, should know better."

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