Debate Magazine

Traffic Police Numbers

Posted on the 10 February 2015 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

From the BBC
RAC head of external affairs Pete Williams said: "These figures make a mockery of motoring law. If there are not enough police on the road, we can introduce all the new rules we want, but those breaking them just will not get caught.
"While cameras are good at catching speeders and drivers who go through red lights, offences that relate to general poor behavior at the wheel still rely on a police officer to enforce them."

Last week, the Institute of Advanced Motorists criticised "many years of government cutbacks and the resulting drop in visible policing" after the number of people killed on UK roads rose to 1,711 in the year ending September 2014.

Well, those numbers are wrong. They rose to 1,730 from 1,711. And those are, according to the release from the Department of Transport estimated figures.
But the DfT explain the reason for the rise, that Q1 2013 was a very cold quarter, which you might think would raise accidents, but it actually means a lot less cars on the road.
Even without that, 1% is just a tiny percentage that tells you nothing as a single data point. It might be that we've got road deaths about as good as we can get them, that they've hit a plateau and it's now mostly about fluctuations around the number. Most of the decline has been down to things like drink driving laws, safer cars and better medical treatment, not police presence which have always been nearly non-existent on the roads.

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