Reporter pulls a fast one on speed camera plans

By Dominic Ponsford

Road safety officials were caught out when the East Anglia Daily
Times used freedom of information powers to investigate plans for the
first speed cameras in Essex on a dual carriageway.

Reporter Ted Jeory broke the story last month that Essex Safety
Camera Partnership was planning to place cameras on a 70mph section of
the A12.

Camera bosses told Jeory the move was justified because
there had been sufficient accidents on the stretch of road in a
three-year period.

When Jeory asked them for the cause of the accidents, he said he was told they were all “speed-related”.

He added: “As all road accidents involve some form of speed/motion, this seemed a little suspicious.”

He
used the FOI Act to obtain official accident reports for the five
incidents involved and discovered not one of them involved excessive
speed. One case involved drugs, another reversing and in a third, a
pedestrian was hit by a car’s wing mirror.

Jeory said: “The
revelations have fuelled suspicions that these cameras are just
money-raisers. I’ve had emails from all over the UK as well as from
[Tory MP] Tim Yeo trying to make it an election issue.”

The story
made a front page story for the EADT and was followed up with a page
lead in The Daily Telegraph. Jeory, 35, has been at the EADT for two
years, having previously worked as an accountant in the City for nine
years.

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