Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/27/cats_eyes_cameras/

'Traffic Taliban' moots speed cameras in cats' eyes

Richard Brunstrom's latest cunning plan

By Lester Haines

Posted in Government, 27th April 2007 10:45 GMT

North Wales Police's anti-speeding campaigner Richard Brunstrom - aka the "Traffic Taliban" to those who oppose his zero-tolerance approach to excess velocity - has suggested the possibility of deploying miniature speed cameras in cats' eyes, the BBC reports.

Brunstrom used a debate road safety at St Asaph Business Park, Denbighshire, forming part of the United Nations' Global Safety Week, to put forward his cunning plan to an audience of journalists and local authority representatives. He explained: "We're not definitely going to buy cats' eye cameras, but they are available and we are looking into them. We will always be transparent with the public.

"We may have a sign up for example, saying 'there are hidden cameras along this road', but we won't have a big arrow saying 'there's a camera in this cats' eye'."

Brunstrom claims his speed-busting campaign, Arrive Alive, has saved 53 lives since 2001, and that it has the support of 70 per cent of the public. To back up his message that excess speed can be very bad for your health, Brunstrom produced a "horrific" picture of a decapitated biker's head, plus another of his torso.

The audience was also treated to a snap of "two young men, aged 25 and 16, lying dead by the side of a mangled car". Brunstrom confirmed "that the families of the dead men were not aware the images were being used in the presentation", but defended: "We did it to serve a purpose. The images are there to make an impact today."

Brunstrom's shock tactics immediately provoked tabloid ire. The Sun today reports that he's "sparked fury" by using the "sickening" picture of the biker's head "encased in a red and white helmet lying on a grass verge with the visor raised".

Paul Smith, of pressure group Safe Speed, duly branded Mr Brunstrom a "buffoon" and "demanded his resignation". Arthur Roberts of People for Proper Policing offered: "This is typical of his gung-ho attitude." The AA, meanwhile, told The Sun: "Research has shown that these type of pictures do not have much effect."

Amid the furore, there is some good-ish news for North Wales' motorists. During his presentation, Brunstrom said the upcoming phase of his force's anti-speeding campaign would be "softer edged", with offenders offered the chance to stump "at least" £60 for a safer driving course, rather than copping a fine and penalty points. ®