Norfolk: Police and Crime Commissioner’s apology over speeding comments gaffe

Stephen Bett

Stephen Bett - Credit: Archant

NORFOLK’S Police and Crime Commissioner today apologised for ‘tongue-in-cheek’ comments over scraping speed limits and letting people drive as fast as conditions allowed.

Stephen Bett’s comments had led to criticism from road safety campaigners.

Today Mr Bett said: “With hindsight, my message around the clutter of associated signage has been lost in my flippant comments about speeding.

“I fully acknowledge that speed is regarded as a contributory factor in determining the outcome of collisions.

“My comments were not meant to be offensive. I have been out with Roads Policing Officers, and I have lost a close personal friend in a collision, and therefore understand the misery and heartbreak that follow loss of life and serious injury on our roads.”

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During an interview with BBC Radio Norfolk last week Mr Bett said: “We ought to drive to road conditions rather than set limits. The problem nowadays is there’s so many damn signs.”

“If you have got someone who’s a Formula 1 racing driver, well, you can go flat out”

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“You are driving along and you get mesmerised by them and you get situations where you get a 50 to 40 to 30 and it goes to 20 in the middle and back up again.

“If we’re going to do something about speed and villages, we ought to just take all the signs down and say all villages are 30mph, or whatever it’s going to be, and you drive on roads, like they do in Germany and Italy, as road conditions say.”

“The police force always needs to do that. People say, if people are going fast they will cause trouble, but a lot of people, if [the limit] was 70mph, would go faster anyway,” said Mr Bett.

Asked how fast a fully-alert driver could safely travel in a modern car on an open road early in the morning, Mr Bett said: “That is a very significant one because it depends on the driver.

“If you have got someone who’s a Formula 1 racing driver, well, you can go flat out.

“If he was a racing driver and really, really good and had tremendous reflexes, probably as fast as the car will go.”

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