Paul Smith 1955-2007
Safe Speed founder dies, and why every motorist should applaud his tireless campaigning
Paul Smith, founder of campaign group Safe Speed, died just before Christmas from a heart attack. He was 52 years old. Friends and colleagues paid tribute to a tireless campaigner who believed fervently that road safety policy based on speed cameras was failing the British public and who worked ceaselessly to promote better driver education.
Smith, who lived in Inverness, was also the Highland co-ordinator for the Association of British Drivers. ABD chairman Brian Gregory said: ‘Paul believed road safety should be based upon properly collected evidence, not the contrived statistics promoted by the Government. Everyone in the ABD who knew Paul would like to offer their sincere condolences to his partner and family.’
After an earlier heart attack, which saw him hospitalised last August, Smith had commented, ‘Obviously I will take a necessary pause for the sake of my health, but I vow to battle on against bad road safety policy founded on speed cameras. My own heart attack is a stark reminder about the importance of doing everything we reasonably can to preserve life.’
Smith, who was due to have a triple bypass operation in January, was still campaigning until just before his death. The last press release from Safe Speed, on the subject of training young drivers, arrived at news desks across the country on Monday, December 10, just four days before he died. Claire Armstrong, his partner of 23 years, has pledged to try to continue his work through the website safespeed.org.uk