Police ‘safety’ van caused a real danger, says motorist

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A police camera van parked discreetly to monitor drivers on a stretch of road has been accused of posing a safety hazard.

Motorist Valerie White was so bothered about the risk to drivers attempting to turn from the A4100 Portway road, Aynho, onto the Banbury to Bicester Road, she returned to tell the officer her fears.

But she was angered by his ‘patronising’ attitude.

“He completely denied he was causing an obstruction although I could see his parking was putting people in jeopardy,” said Mrs White, of Banbury.

“I had driven to the junction but to get to a position where I could see, I had to pull halfway across the road, risking being hit by traffic coming from my right.

“I was pretty annoyed at having my safety put at risk by a police safe driving operation and after parking I went back to the van and knocked on it and spoke to the occupant.

“I wasn’t going to be one of the silent masses and I wanted to tell him my concerns. I asked him if he realised that he was causing a hazard to people turning out from Portway.

“He said he had done a risk assessment and that there was no obstruction. When I said there certainly was, he said, ‘we’ll look, shall we?’ in a most patronising tone.

“He took me to stand at the corner on the give-way line, and indeed, when standing on the line, you could see down the road. But as I pointed out to him, for me to be at that point of vision on the road when in the driving seat of my car, the front of the car would be halfway across the carriageway.”

Mrs White added: “It could be lethal if someone came from that direction and had to swerve because of me and hit someone else.

“The policeman said he had noted what I said and would pass on my comments.”

Mrs White said that the officer maintained that, in any case, he would ‘only be there for an hour’.

She said: “So in his opinion was it okay to put drivers at potential risk of injury while he filmed traffic? I asked him if he would feel as relaxed if he found me without a seatbelt and I said it was only for an hour.”

“Why should there be one rule for the police and another for the rest of us?”