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5/17/2006
UK: Speed Camera Causes Cop Car Crash
Lancashire, UK officer crashes his police car after he brakes to avoid a speed camera.

Ford Galaxy police
A speed camera caused Lancashire, UK police officer Scott Warburton to crash his police mini-van while on duty on October 26 on the A6 in Lancaster. Court proceedings that began this week will determine whether Warburton will be banned from driving.

The vehicle's black box event data recorder showed that the armed response unit officer had been driving at 91 MPH ten seconds prior to the crash. Warburton had been accelerating to pass a vehicle, but he slammed on the brakes after noticing a speed camera that enforced a 30 MPH speed limit. Warburton then lost control and slammed into two signposts. He was not responding to an emergency call.

Warburton admitted guilt in a letter to the court, but Blackpool magistrates have adjourned the case for two weeks so that the officer can be summoned to receive his sentence in person.

Safe Speed road safety campaign founder Paul Smith fears the incident could lead to rules prohibiting police from exceeding posted speed limits. "We need Police officers to attend incidents as quickly as safely as possible," Smith said. "It is so important that we focus on the real causes of road danger. For the causes of this and every crash we must look inside the mind of the driver. Safety is about skills and attitudes rather than rules and regulations -- so much so that it is quite impossible to prevent such crashes with regulation."

Source: PC admits crash at 90mph (Lancashire Evening Post (UK), 5/17/2006)

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