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Tuesday, 3 September, 2002, 09:34 GMT 10:34 UK
Speed camera rebels threaten sabotage
Speed camera
Some motorists are growing increasingly angry
Motorists frustrated at being caught out by speed cameras are threatening to take the law into their own hands, a civil liberties activist has claimed.

Drivers are upset at "unfair" camera use by police and are threatening to destroy them, according to UKSpeedTraps.com founder John Lockett.

Death on the road
187 people killed, 13,775 injured on Welsh roads in 2001
That is a 3% drop on 2000 and the seventh successive annual fall
3,409 UK road users killed in 2000

Sources: Welsh Assembly & DfT

His website reveals locations for about 317 cameras around the UK to help motorists avoid being photographed speeding, and is maintained by a steady stream of tip-offs from drivers.

And he says he is now concerned about growing unease about the motivations for speed cameras after the introduction of a policy to give speeding fines back to police forces.

And, he claims, many of Lockett's regional fans are apparently promising militancy.

"So far, with the reactions I've had around Cwm, Gwent and surrounding areas; basically, they want to destroy them," he said.

Grab from UKSpeedCameras.com
John Lockett points out UK speed cameras (UKSpeedCameras.com)
"[Many cameras] are not there to improve safety. They are there to make money for the police.

"You shouldn't be caught for speeding if you have got to overtake a bus, let through an ambulance or swerve to avoid a kid. I think it's wrong.

"To place a trap behind a tree, on a very fast corner or down a hill is unfair."

Susan Beck from the All Safety Camera Partnership - which advises on the placement of the cameras - said the whereabouts of cameras are well publicised.

"Cameras are there to do their job, and they do reduce death and injuries on the road," she said.

"These cameras are designed to slow drivers down at recognised casualty hotspots."

More flashes

The Department for Transport last year decided to dramatically increase speed camera installations after research showed wider surveillance reduced the number of deaths and serious injuries in pilot areas by 47%.

Ms Beck insisted that the cameras help catch motorists who were not concentrating properly and defended the reinvestment of speeding fine cash into police safety schemes.

The government recently floated plans to make speed cameras more visible to motorists - but transport committee MPs warned people would die as a result of speeding outside of camera zones.

See also:

23 Aug 02 | England
21 Apr 02 | England
27 May 02 | Wales
29 May 02 | England
13 Aug 01 | UK
Links to more Wales stories are at the foot of the page.


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