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10/31/2007
UK: Speed Camera Chief May Lose License to Drive
The number one traffic police chief in the UK was photographed exceeding the speed limit by 30 MPH.

Meredydd Hughes
A speed camera photographed the UK's number one traffic cop blasting along a Welsh highway at thirty miles per hour over the limit while off-duty in May. South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes, 49, is the Head of Roads Policing for the Association of Chief Police Officers. He was mailed a ticket for driving his £50,000 (US $100,000) Audi A8 at 90 MPH in a 60 zone on the A5 at Halton in North Wales at around 8am.

Hughes must appear before Wrexham magistrates on November 21 to answer the charge that, for an ordinary motorist, would result in an automatic license suspension and a fine of up to £1000 (US $2000). Hughes has two prior minor speeding convictions, but the points expired from his record last year.

"We can confirm that the Chief Constable Med Hughes has received a notice of an intending prosecution in respect of an alleged driving offense in North Wales in the early morning on a Bank Holiday Monday in May, whilst on holiday," a South Yorkshire Police notice stated. "No summons has yet been received."

Road safety expert Paul Smith, founder of Safe Speed, called on Hughes to resign. Smith argued that the police chief should do so not because he did something unsafe, but because his policies have been dishonest.

"The critical question is: Was Mr Hughes causing a danger to the public?" Smith said. "Given his training and position, I am quite confident that he was not. I challenge him to admit -- here and now -- that the speed limit cannot define the point at which a speed becomes dangerously fast."

Smith cited UK Department for Transport figures that show exceeding the speed limit was the cause of only three percent of automobile accidents.

"Mr Hughes should also be given a taste of his own medicine and banned from driving," Smith added. "No public money should pay for a chauffeur."



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