Dear Mr Amess,
The greatest immediate threat our children face – speeding drivers.
An open letter
I was appalled to see your brutal remarks about speed cameras in the local press. You are reported as objecting to the protection cameras offer the people of Southend and objecting to a paltry fine against those who would be perfectly happy to kill others for no better reason than fun or convenience.
The fact is that speeding causes appalling human misery and contributes, at least in part, to most of the deaths on UK roads. Thanks to the work of people like me (road safety campaigners), we have got the number of children killed due to excessive speed down from around 160 per annum 20 years ago to around 50 now. Not one sensible, humane person in Southend wants to see that trend reversed.
Do you seriously believe most civilised people in Southend want to have the speed cameras removed because accidents have been reduced? Those who detest the abuse of children (for that is what we address here) all agree that we need more speed enforcement and lower speed limits.
Do you seriously believe the decent people in the town want cameras removed along the A127 so that more young male adults can kill or cripple themselves late at night? The fact is that more men are killed and crippled by speeding than by heroin. Speed is a massive danger and people like you, with your crass remarks, undermine efforts to reduce the number of deaths that occur. Thanks to your "Sun" mentality, many young men think that speeding is a socially acceptable activity and they lack any understanding of its dreadful impact upon society – particularly vulnerable groups like children.
Have you ever thought what a difference you would make if you didn’t side with the selfish, loutish minority? Have you ever considered what impact you might have on the deaths and serious injuries in Southend if you stood up for children? These are the messages civilised people should be giving to young men in this town: –
“Real men care for kids”;
“Manliness is all about your ability to protect the vulnerable – particularly children”;
“You are not a man if you endanger the lives of children”;
“Real men don’t tear around town in cars threatening children, they drive sensibly because they have the strength and intelligence to protect children”.
These are the messages every civilised person in this town supports. Decent people support efforts to impugn the masculinity of the young thugs who tear around in their cars and will be furious to see you stand by the most squalid of this town’s failures – the speeding motorists.
To emphasise this point, I am sending a copy of this letter to every church and to every head teacher in Southend West. I will ask them if they agree that speed cameras should be removed so that crashes and injuries increase. I know something about every head teacher, every vicar and every priest in this town – none of them want to see more people killed on our roads. I am absolutely certain you won’t be able to find one that supports you.
So, please, in future, put vulnerable people first. Please put the needs of children and the elderly ahead of louts who complain about road safety measures.
I am also copying this to the Southend Times so that paper understands that all intelligent, civilised people in this town are unanimous in their opposition to you.