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January 2006
Parking in a Spin
Councillor Dave Arrowsmith claims that a pay and display machine on a street is not a parking meter. Remember this next time he wants your vote.
In 2005 Coventry City Council raised well over half a million pounds from parking fees and fines.
Coventry Evening Telegraph — When is a parking meter not a parking meter, when it's a pay-and-display machine...
Tyre Slashings Continue
Since May 2005, over 400 cars in Coventry, Nuneaton and Bedworth have had their tyres slashed by vandals. Total damage is estimated at over £40,000. Although one man has been charged and bailed, the motive for the attacks appears unknown.
Police have appealed to the public to keep their eyes and ears open, particularly between midnight and dawn when all the attacks have taken place.
If you spot anyone behaving suspiciously near parked cars late at night, dial 999.
"A reward of up to £1000 has been put forward by Crimestoppers for information leading to the arrest and charge of the person or people responsible and the information can be given anonymously by contacting the Crimestoppers line on 0800 555111."
Chief Inspector Neil Hewison, District Commander for Nuneaton, Warwickshire Police
In April 2004, a man who slashed the tyres of 548 vehicles in Bournemouth was jailed for 16 months.
“The wrong managers”
“I am a RPU (not Traffic) sergeant in West Midlands. Every day I see appallingly bad driving and poorly maintained vehicles. The consequences of these is deaths on the roads. Last October, for example, we had 4 fatal and 2 very serious injury accidents. This was akin to 4 murder investigations being run simultaneously by one sergeant and 8 constables.
I believe there are three reasons for the state we are in. The first is the low priority given at both national and local level, to all traffic policing matters. I know ACPO now accepts this, but things have gone too far to be fixed in a hurry and a few words in the National Policing Plan. We do not enforce traffic legislation. BCU commanders concentrate resources on national targets set by the Government. There is only one “traffic” key performance indicator: reducing fatal and serious injury accidents.
Secondly, the public has become alienated from the police. The public supported “traffic cops” even if they were wary, because they could see the value of our work. Speed cameras have made the police the enemy of the motorist, even if we have nothing to do with them. They are seen as the police making money.
My third reason is the current standard of police driving. Most Panda drivers have only a one-day test involving 2 hours driving, in place of the old 4 weeks course. Yet the public expects a Panda driver to be a first class driver, and have the best and most powerful cars on the roads.”

Un-named police officer writing in POLICE [pdf 463k] (The newspaper of the Police Federation) March 2004

One Third?
The West Midlands Road Accident Review 2001 showed that for pedestrian accidents, excessive speed comprised only 26 of 2364 causation factors, that's 1%.
For non-pedestrian accidents, excessive speed comprised only 330 of 8165 causation factors, that's 4%.
A combined figure gives us 356 of 10529, or 3.3%.
So where do the authorities get this "one third" nonsense from?
Do they just shift the decimal point to suit their purpose?
The report can be seen on the ringroad website.
Elsewhere on the ABD website:
External Links:
Contact Coventry City Council
Report a pothole
Report a streetlight problem
Mon–Fri 8–20, Sat 9–13 :
0500 834 333
from a mobile:
Out of hours emergency:
from outside Coventry / a mobile:
024 7683-2222
If you live in Coventry put these numbers in your phone now!

CET = Coventry Evening Telegraph