Labour plans see drivers rewarded for sticking to the limit

15.56 | 5 January 2011 | | 4 comments

Maria Eagle, the new shadow transport secretary, wants to use the country’s network of average speed cameras to promote road safety in a more positive manner (The Telegraph).

In an interview with The Telegraph, Ms Eagle said she was preparing a radical overhaul of Labour’s motoring strategy. She hopes the policy will revive its reputation among drivers who accused the party of ‘waging war on the motorist’ while in government.

Maria Eagle told the Telegraph: "By the end I think there was a perception among motorists that we were not their friends. It was felt that cameras were about catching them on the hop and fining them – a money raising arrangement rather than a road safety arrangement.

"The safety cameras are capturing the data, the speed and number plates of the cars that go through.

“I have seen lately this idea that you can use the information you get from them to have a lottery – a draw of those who drive under the speed limit. It might make people understand there is a point to them.

"There is an incentive for good behaviour which is perhaps better psychologically than a disincentive for bad behaviour.”

Other incentives Ms Eagle suggested included offering motorists a discount when they came to renew their tax disc if they are shown to have stayed under the speed limit.

Ms Eagle made it clear she would not remove safety cameras, criticising the coalition for doing so without assessing the potential risk to road safety.

Click here to read The Telegraph’s full interview with Maria Eagle.


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    Good and positive idea (for a change). Trouble with using accident stats is that they’re incomplete and do not tell the real story…….as has recently been concluded by most of the influential authorities involved in road safety.

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    Hi All,

    Just a short response to Derek. He is right to a certain extent, in a survey a few years ago in my own county, the majority of collisions were down to driver error (94%), with failing to look, or having looked failing to act appropriately as the major cause (32%). However, excessive or inappropriate speed came second (29%).

    So, however you want to dress it up, money making, picking on the motorists or even give Regression to Mean a chance, speed cameras reduce collisions and slow traffic.

    Steve Barber, Northampton.
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    What network of average speed cameras?

    Glynn, Preston
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    Fairness doesn’t enter the equation. This is a plastic Spratt to catch a financially challenged Mackerel. The scam is that it is headed ‘Road Safety’.

    Road safety is about responsible operating of a vehicle – and on foot. This is acheived through education and respect for all who use the roads. Penalising a few who exceed a limit when no danger to others has been recorded is simply seeking montary gains. Check the balance sheets though – they do not balance!

    The majority of accidents involving vehicles occur at speeds within speed limits. The main cause is lack of attention, lack of observation, and distraction. Speed may be a contributary factor though often innappropriate speed, which itself may be within a limit.

    Covering the land with average speed cameras is just another way of observing the populations movements, and the basis for a nationwide road charging scheme. Neither such a witch hunt on speed, nor road charging will contribute one iota to road safety.

    Politicians live on planet greed. Their jobs, future prospects and pensions rely on toeing some interplanetary line.

    Derek, St Albans.
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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