Stop the misuse of police cameras

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Police camera vans should be banned from overtaking lanes.

It’s not because speed limits shouldn’t be enforced on all types of road. They should. That’s precisely why the cameras should be banned from overtaking lanes. Clearly, the police can’t be trusted not to abuse them. When rich pickings are available at certain spots why bother enforcing speed limits at other places, where it’s more difficult?

I appreciate this is an old hobby horse of mine. In fact, we’ve had some success on it in the past.

We’ve embarrassed the police here in Derry into cutting back on their abuse of the four or five local spots where speed detections are easiest.

At first they tried telling us they were accident hot spots. When a freedom of information request revealed that was nothing but a great big fat lie, they were forced into retreat. Before that, PSNI abuse of certain favoured spots was so blatant they became known as “Derry’s fishbowl routes”. Now we need to spread the message outside Derry.

At one stage the PSNI replied to me on this by saying that they expected a former officer to be more concerned about road safety. Let’s be clear. This isn’t about road safety. I’m as keen on accident prevention as the next man. This is about neglect of proper concern for road safety by concentrating on the spots where speed detections are easiest.

We’ve had some local success on the issue but drive away from Derry and we see police abuse of overtaking lanes is still rife.

I wonder if the PSNI understand how annoying this is. In my opinion, it could well be safer to overtake on an overtaking lane at say 70 mph than to squeeze past elsewhere at say 50.

Recently, on a busy main road I had a chance, on an overtaking lane to get past a large milk tanker.

Sure enough, just as the extra lane was coming to an end there was the camera van. It’s massively irritating. I think I managed to get past without exceeding 60 mph. I’m hoping not to hear anything to the contrary!