Police officer dispels speeding enforcement myths – from incentives to quotas

Devon and Cornwall Police Sergeant Owen Messenger has teamed up with a local YouTuber to dispel numerous myths about speed cameras and their enforcement

Project Edward: Every Day Without A Road Death

A police sergeant has dispelled common myths about speeding enforcement – denying they get financial incentives or hide behind bushes to catch out drivers.

Devon and Cornwall Sergeant Owen Messenger explained how different speed detection equipment is used as he teamed up with a YouTuber to dispel common speeding myths.

In the clip, Sgt Messenger denies speed detection officers hide behind bushes to catch out speeding drivers, Cornwall Live reports.

The sergeant also said officers do not hand out tickets for road users caught travelling 31mph in a 30mph zone.

He said speed limits have an upper threshold, and going over the limit can result in road users facing prosecution.

Using the example of 30mph zone, the sergeant said there is usually a threshold of 30-34mph. Anyone exceeding 35mph could be charged with a traffic offence.

Sergeant Owen Messenger says police will not arrest someone for driving 31mph in a 30mph zone

But, Speed Detection Officers are also given the power to use their own discretion, similarly to any other officer.

Sgt Messenger stressed there are no financial incentives or quotas for Speed Detection Officers.

The traffic police’s primary objective is to slow road users down to prevent collisions, he said.

In a post on Facebook, Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Speed enforcement is not about revenue.

“The safety cameras are self-funded from enforcement so they are not a burden on the taxpayer however their job is to slow traffic, not necessarily issue tickets.

Officers say the main purpose of speeding enforcement is to eliminate road fatalities by reducing driver speed

“That is why the vans are liveried and there are signs up normally before fixed camera sites which are also generally painted yellow.

“Camera vans do not purposely hide behind bushes.

“They also don’t issue tickets for 31 in a 30 despite what people tell you. No one has ever been prosecuted for 31 in a 30.

“It cannot be a ‘tax’ or ‘theft’. The only person who decides to break the limit is the driver. A driver agrees to drive by the Highway Code and should know the speed limits.

“If they ‘choose’ to break those limits or are not concentrating and get caught then it’s not the fault of the Speed Detection Officer or Police Officer.

Sergeant Owen Messenger of Devon and Cornwall Police has teamed up with a local YouTuber to dispel myths about speeding enforcement


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“There are NO quotas, NO targets and there is definitely NO financial incentive.

“Speed plays a huge part in many RTCs despite what people tell you. We see it first-hand all too often. Hopefully this video explains why we enforce speed limits.”

The video was produced with YouTuber George, of George’s Car Media (GCM) in response to a surge in crashes in Devon and Cornwall, which have resulted in several deaths and serious injuries.

Devon and Cornwall Police department have formed a national road charity campaign with other emergency services.

The campaign, dubbed Project EDWARD (Every Day Without A Road Death), is part of the Vision Zero South West road safety partnership.

The group aims to eradicate all serious and fatal collisions from the roads of Devon and Cornwall.

The video comes after a surge in fatal crashes in the south west

In May, a 20-month-old baby girl was killed by a car towing a caravan that collided with her on private land. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police did not provide full details of where the accident took place, but it’s thought the infant – from Nottingham – was pronounced dead at the scene at a campsite near Ruan Major, Cornwall.

The baby’s death came a week before ex Duran Duran tour manager Craig Duffy and his partner Sue Parmiter were killed in a collision on the A39 coast road in Devon.

It is reported they were in their VW Golf when the car was involved in a collision with a Mitsubishi Shogun.

Despite emergency services rushing to the scene the pair could not be saved and the other driver was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

The crash took place only two miles from their home in Allerford, Somerset.

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