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This web site exposes and corrects misleading information and analysis in official publications and statements  in relation to subjects of interest to me and to which I believe I can make a worthwhile contribution. It serves as a single source for all of the data and analysis I have accumulated over twelve years spent fighting against speed cameras and includes great deal of official data, wildly optimistic – not to say ludicrous and bizarre – claims plus a great deal of my own analysis and comment.

As you will soon discover, it is difficult to understand how many of the claims I expose were ever believed, palpable nonsense that they were. To take only one example, the DfT’s figures of £7,500 for a speed camera for one year but £14,000 for a vehicle activated sign (a far less complex device needing virtually no maintenance and none of the vastly expensive enforcement system of cameras)  was self-evidently preposterous but that did not stop Transcom’s self-confessed “bear of little brain” Gwyneth Dunwoody printing the figures in their 2006 Report and calling for more speed cameras on that basis.

It is of course up to the reader to judge whether those responsible for some of the more outlandish nonsense could really have been that stupid, or instead were bent on misleading us in pursuit of their own or their organisations’ objective. And indeed, given the consequences for life and limb on our roads of policies based on very seriously flawed analysis, whether these failures amounted variously to breach of duty of care, misconduct or misfeasance in public office or Corporate Manslaughter (applicable just as much to Government bodies as to private businesses).

Every effort will be made to ensure easy access to all the material through a logical structure. In general the first page of each subject will be an overview, followed by links to documents on this site or elsewhere. These documents will, where appropriate, be arranged in a logical sequence – chronological in the case of correspondence or reports, otherwise alphabetically.

This site is very much a work in progress and I am in the early stages of adding a great deal of information I already have on file, especially on speed cameras. For that reason some subject headings are simply a declaration of intent devoid of content until I am able to put it in place. If you need any particular information but cannot find it, please ask  – I may have it but not yet had time to upload it. My email address is irfrancis@onetel.com.

Casualty data based on police Stats19 records is issued annually by the DfT and is available from their web site, but almost exclusively in tabular (and recently in Excel) form – URL’s are given elsewhere. Because a picture is worth a thousand words this site provides what official sites rarely  do – graphs of all available official data, nationally from 1926 and by police area at least from 1989. Please note that I hold many graphs comparing individual police areas with others or with national trends, available on request.

In addition there will be a great deal of statistical analysis exposing the reality behind the false claims of speed camera effectiveness and other road safety make-believe.

The best starting point for casualty and speed camera material, under Camera Overview, is Britain’s Road Safety Tragedy whose sections B to J cover many different aspects of flawed official policies and claims. Relevant documents prefixed B. to J. are available on the same page. Some of these  and many other subjects are accessible from the left hand index column, which also contains a link to a Log of changes and additions.

While at this stage this site is largely my own work I would be happy to add relevant comment and information from others, at my sole discretion. I should however make it clear that this is not a Blog – I do not have time to run one or to monitor comments. Feel free to email me however.  Instead the site is intended to be a source of documents, data and  and other information for those who find the site themselves or whom I refer to it  to avoud having to copy the information to each in turn.

To the best of my belief there are no errors of my own contained in these pages, only official ones, but if any are brought to my attention I undertake to correct them immediately, with comments and explanation where necessary.

If you wish to comment, to correct what you might believe to be an error or any kind or to provide additional information please do so to me at irfrancis@onetel.com. All of this information and much more is available on CD in exchange for a stamped addressed envelope and a blank CD.

This web site is dedicated to the memory of my wonderful mathematics master Thomas Davies who, in the mid 1950’s gave me and my fellow pupils one of the most important pieces of advice I have ever received:

“When you have worked out the answer you must always ask yourself – does it make sense?”

The trouble now is that a very great deal indeed of what we are told, whether about the European Union, the euro, speed cameras, energy policy, man-made global warming or anything else, makes no sense at all – as you will find in these pages.

My efforts to fight at least some of the nonsense with which we are bombarded each and every day are self-financed and unpaid. I neither seek nor would accept financial support.

Idris Francis

irfrancis@onetel.com

idrisfrancis@fightbackwithfacts.com



 

 

2 Responses to Home

  1. Carol Byrne says:

    I have been sent a notice of intended prosecution for a minor speeding offence. I am the owner of the vehicle but share the car at weekends with my spouse, so I requested photographic evidence to identify the driver, so that i could comply with their request but this was declined. The reply stated that “photographic evidence will only be made available to you on a not guilty plea in court”. Is this correct as I am simply asking for clarification of who was driving at the time of the offence, and I cannot say I am not guilty until I have this information. I now fear I will be fined for not stating who was the driver within 28 days, is it worth pursuing or should I just say it was me and pay the fine to prevent further penalty?

    • admin says:

      First – I am not a lawyer so take proper legal advice.

      However I have spent a great deal of time on these issues. and my comments are these:

      1/ The great majority of forces provide photographs or videos or the opportunity to see them. Court verdicts have confirmed that privacy and identity concerns regaring anyone else who might be in the photograph do not excuse such a refusal. In any case they can blank out such details.

      2/ The 1/2 second delay between flashes (for fixed cameras) is intended to provide a secondary check of the speed by establishing the distance travelled over the transverese white lines – you are entitled to a photograph to allow you to do that check.

      3/ Some forces claim that the photo cannot be used as evidence of identity. Some will however show enough, ie height, hat, face, hair etc to allow you to decide which of two people was driving, even if that good enough to be used in court.

      4/ It cannot make sense to require you to plead not guilty – and in doing so, in effect, name the other person as the driver – at the same time as refusing to allow you to see the photo that might confirm who was driving.

      5/ Suppose, rather than risk the costs, expenses, higher fine and possible license loss of a court plea of not guilty you decide to name yourself, or the other person – and it later becomes known that you were mistaken. What then – prosecution as with Chris Huhne, for perverting the course of justice and jail?

      6/ The NIP warns that providing false information risks a £2,500 fine and or jail. By refusing to provide the photo and at the same time insisting on a name, the authorities seem to me to be guilty of “entrapment”,

      7/ Very importantly indeed – there is no law requiring keepers to know at all times who is driving – a manifest impossiobility in any case. Parliament rightly decided in 1988 that no one should be penalised for failing to do what they are unable to do and included in para 4 S172 1988 RTA

      “(4) A person shall not be guilty of an offence by virtue of paragraph (a) of subsection (2) above if he shows that he did not know and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained who the driver was.”

      Anyone who tells you different, as many forces and partnerships do, is WRONG. I have helped about 30 people see charges dropped using this defence.

      8/ However, note that to succeed in this way in court you have to convince Magistrates not only that you do not know who was driving but also that you have exerted reasonable diligence in trying to find out. And you need to document that in detail – easy enough in your case as it’s a choice of 2. And the other person would need to give evidence at least in writing preferably in person.

      9/ That you have asked the police for the photograph but been refused is helpful to your case.

      10/ Lawyers tell me that the majority who try this defence do actually know but are trying to get away with it. So if you do know, best admit it and move on, otherwise if you use this defence and are not believed you would end up with 6 points and a heft fine. Indeed I know a numbers of people who have accepted speeding penalties when they knew they were not driving or were unsure rather than take such risks.

      11/ Not many defendants know of para 4 and the police know that and will bluff and even lie – as many of their web sites do, 24/7. If you or your lawyer make it clear that you do know of para 4 and intend to use it, they may well prefer to abandon the case rather than see para 4 publised in your successful defence.

      12/ You are also entitled to see the photo to satisfy yourself that the car in question was yours and not a clone, and was photohgraphed on a road where you might have driven it – mistakes do occur.

      13/ The police may try to tell you that they will not enter into correspondence, or consider mitigating circumstances, that the latter is only for Magistrates to decide. That is a LIE as the attached report confirms, and it is a LIE that continues to me published day in and day out on web sites offering legal “advice” invariably calculated to mislead and maintain cash flow.

      I think this covers everything, except – what police area? I could check their web site. If not please comeback to me.

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