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18 March 2015

Stevenson Criticises Those Against Average-Speed Cameras on the A9

In a Scottish Parliament debate yesterday (Tuesday) Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, highlighted his support for average-speed cameras on the A9 and criticised those against the traffic calming measure.

Mr Stevenson said that the cameras, which have been in operation for the past few months, had changed behaviour and reduced law breaking, with evidence so far suggesting that the number of accidents with people killed and seriously injured has reduced.

Arguing against those that are opposed to the speed cameras, he added:

“They are saying that, although we have a law that sets the speed limit, we do not want to enforce that law. Because it is a matter of personal convenience and arrogance on the part of those who wish permission, unsupervised and unenforced, to break one of our laws. If the law is wrong—one could argue that it is and that the speed limit is not the right one—there is a way to deal with that. However, putting other people’s lives at risk while doing that is not on - not in any way whatsoever.”

Mr Stevenson welcomed improvements to the A9 including its dualling all the way up to Inverness, but added that not all problems would be solved by changing the road.

He said:

“We will not engineer out all the accidents and issues on the A9 by dualling it. Parliamentary answers to Murdo Fraser show that, in every year about which he asked questions, the M8—which is a motorway and a dual carriageway—had a higher rate of accidents per kilometre than the A9.”

As a private pilot, Mr Stevenson added his support to graduated training for drivers and believes it should be explored further, adding:

“In flying, people do not simply pass their test and get the right to go off and do everything. They cannot fly at night, fly out of sight of the ground or fly in clouds. They cannot fly multi-engine planes, planes with retractable undercarriage or planes with variable pitch prop. When we pass a test, be it as a pilot or a driver, we do not suddenly and magically acquire the experience that will enable us to cope with everything that we will meet during our career in charge of a vehicle - that has to be learned.”
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