A Scottish police blitz on speeders has done nothing for safety. Targets set to secure more convictions were met and exceeded; more seatbelt offenders were caught. More drivers were convicted for using mobile phones, more insurance and driving licence offenders (not informing DVLA of an address change) were apprehended than ever before. Chief Constable Sir Stephen House made catching wrongdoers a priority when Police Scotland was created last year, setting targets to increase the number of speeding offences in order to “better influence driver behaviour”.
The result was that road deaths went up by 24 in 2013/14, including 55 per cent more motorcycle deaths and 50 per cent more cyclist deaths, an increase of 14 per cent.
A report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland suggests officers should have discretion over whether to issue warnings instead of fines. Neil Greig, the Institute of Advanced Motorists’ director of policy and research, and Edmund King, the AA’s president, said more emphasis was needed on educating rather than punishing drivers. Supt Iain Murray, head of road policy for the police was unabashed, claiming the force worked to meet Scottish Government targets to reduce road casualties. Speeding and mobile phone use “are all proven to contribute to collisions and to increase the likelihood and severity of injuries.”
QED I think.