A SOLICITOR who specialises in dealing with traffic offences has spoken out against the introduction of speed cameras in North Yorkshire.

Robert Ward has worked in the area of road offences for three years, but he does not believe speed cameras are an effective way of cutting the number of accidents.

His comments came after The Press revealed last month that City of York Council's leader, Steve Galloway, will be increasing pressure on North Yorkshire Police to install them.

Robert, who works for Langleys Solicitors, said: "Road safety is not just about the letter of the law. It is about driving safely.

"There are many arguments against the introduction of these cameras in the county.

"Speed cameras only catch drivers who are breaking the legal speed limit rather than those driving at an inappropriately high speed.

"For example, unlike police patrol cars, speed cameras are not an effective deterrent against driving in poor weather conditions such as snow or fog, when people should drive much below the speed limit in order to drive safely. Speed cameras do not detect other offences.

"They do not stop people drink-driving, driving dangerously or driving without having passed a test.

"Police patrol cars both deter and detect all of these crimes.

"Unfortunately, the fear must be that road policing using speed cameras will be at the cost of patrol cars."

Robert, who works in the regulatory and corporate defence unit at Langleys' York office, said half his workload is dealing with road issues.

He advises people in relation to a wide range of traffic matters including speeding, careless and dangerous driving and driving without insurance.

He added: "Drivers keep on being told that speed is the cause of most accidents, when this is simply not true.

"The Department for Transport accepts that speed is only a contributory factor in less than one in eight fatal road accidents and, amazingly, only one in 20 of all road accidents. These figures were based on information provided by police officers who attended the scenes of accidents."

He said alternatives to reduce speed were available, including speed bumps, chicanes and flashing road signs.

9:43am today