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Welcome to Drivers' Union East Midlands.
Our Mission: Better road safety at lower cost. No unnecessary delay or slowing of road transport. No unnecessary or unjust prosecution of safe drivers.

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Thursday, 25 November 2010

Why speed limits cannot be trusted.

When I was a police officer I regarded it as my duty to the public who I served to ensure that

before I prosecuted anyone, that the prosecution was just and fair and that I understood precisely why I was prosecuting them. I believe that, although many things have changed in the police service since,that duty of care would still be expected of any good police officer.

After all, any prosecution can be a life changing event and a matter of extreme worry for some. The same care should apply to the prosecution of 'speeders' because, the outcome, can lead to loss of employment,increased premiums,financial hardship to families and resulting strain on marriages. With all that in mind, let’s look at a typical Statement of Reasons for a number of speed limits currently being proposed in an area which can result in prosecution of any number of safe drivers on these roads after their installation.

It says:

· The proposals are aimed at improving road safety for all users.

· The proposed speed limits also meet the criteria set out in xxxxxshire County Councils (sic) Speed Limit Policy.

· Therefore, in accordance with the County Council’s Policy, it is proposed to establish the speed limits as set out in the Schedules to the Order.

· The Chief Constable, xxxxxx Parish Council, xxxx Parish Council and xxx District Council have been consulted.

And that is it. There is no evidence of accident history at all on these roads, and certainly no mention of solely speed caused accidents. No scientific basis is given. No mention as to what the police thought or how they were to police the new limits and to be quite frank, the views of the local parishes and district council are irrelevant unless they hold some expertise in driving and road safety anyway.

I assume that any traffic officer worth his salt would be an expert and want to ask what is the expertise of the person who wrote this order and now expects him to prosecute it? I would.

So surely before police point cameras at people for simply going above a number, shouldn't they ask how the number got there and if it was justified? I would.

Would any responsible police officer be happy with these limits?

What about the councillors who nod this through? Shouldn't we expect them to be more discerning and questioning on our behalf?

In the meantime, we should all look for these notices in our local papers and ensure that no speed limit is accepted unless there is a good reason for them and that the speed limit is the problem at the site and cannot be corrected with other remedial action.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

BRAKE now using school-kids

Is there anything lower than using school-kids in propaganda? The Green Lobby have done it frequently haven't they? So it's no surprise to us that with its green agenda against driving, disguised as 'road safety', have been at it by, supported by one of its vested interested sponsors, polling school children to conclude that 'roads are dangerous places' 'speeding causes accidents' etc.

I have sent this to the newspaper concerned:

Of course roads are dangerous since they have many large pieces of machinery, moving very fast (for a large piece of machinery), on them and roads are not really the best place to be either on foot or on a bike. In fact anywhere else it would be considered against health and safety. So I object to two vested interest associations, an Insurance company and BRAKE who have many vested interest sponsors including speed camera manufacturers, and who also disclose on their web site a green agenda against driving, using our children for their propaganda.
Road safety should not be based on the simplistic inexpert opinions of associations with vested interests and other agendas. Were the parents of these children consulted before they were polled?

Anyone disagree with that?

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Crazy Parking Policy Hits The Golden Goose!

When will someone in Government realise that the driver is vital to our economy and that if they all stopped it would collapse?

Now councils as distant and distinct from Croydon to Newcastle, including places like Lincoln, are seeing the driver as the income source to offset the massive financial cuts they are being asked to make. But since when did a 'cut' mean charging people more?

Lincoln want £80 parking fines and Croydon want to extend the restrictions from 6p.m. to Midnight to pay for their largesse and spending habits.

Yellow lines are not about danger or obstruction councillors; kerb stripes and red lines are for that. Yellow lines are merely about about stopping people from using public roads for long term parking. Can't these officials understand that we need people to park on yellow lines to keep the system working and to employ their council parking attendants? Massive fines just frighten parkers away and then who pays for these attendants? The ratepayer of course!

To make the system pay, without crippling it and the driver, just recognise what the yellow lines are about and charge accordingly. Say double the council car park charge for the equivalent period. There is the deterrent and the system will be self financing without crippling anyone at all.

Any politicians listening to this out there? Don't kill the Golden Goose is the message.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Charity Commission analysed? BRAKE alert.

Here an Association of British Drivers' member looks at the Charity Commission response to the BRAKE complaint:
'The Charities Commission are an organisation who were integral to the last Government's agenda and find themselves at the centre of this Governments.

The way forward?

"The charity's objects include environmentally related purposes and the Commission's role does not extend to determining the accuracy or scientific basis for statements made by the charity in furtherance of those purposes."

Translation - Spout any old green BS and we'll call you a charity.

"We acknowledge that the charity's website lists as Supporters/Donors a number of organisations and commercial enterprises which could indeed be held to have interests in areas associated with motoring. These interests are however beyond the remit of the Commission to address or comment on."

Translation "We don't care how you finance yourself or how corrupt your Charity is"

"For many people, an atmosphere which becomes un-breathable/unhealthy due to increased carbon content"

Translation "We know stuff all about science"

Are the Charities Commission the right body to oversee the the introduction of the 'Big Society'?
Use Brake as a specific example of why the CC needs reforming if the 'Big Society is to be delivered with any credibility and write to the Daily Mail.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

BRAKE Charity Commission replies?

Dear Mr Rogers,
I am indeed very disappointed with your finding. Here we have the life and death issue of road safety, and the life changing prosecution of perfectly safe drivers and among other supporters who gain financially from BRAKE's inexpert and unqualified statements on this important issue, there is a speed camera manufacturer. Well everyone I talk to is appalled about that evidence and its effect on reputable registered charity.
But since when was 'saving the planet' and the green agenda a charity? What right have we or BRAKE to 'save the planet' as we like it anyway? It is ever changing, once too hostile for mankind and it will return to that too no matter what we do. No-one is going to be fooled that 'Saving it from destruction' is anything but shrill green political rhetoric. 'Getting drivers out of their cars'. How does that assist genuine road safety?
Surely people need to know what BRAKE is about. Is it road safety or a green agenda? The point is that a green agenda is anti driver and driving and this then is very dangerous if it is the basis of any road safety and prosecution of drivers comment isn't it?
I have already sent out a media PR that, at your request, further paperwork to show vested interest and a political agenda have just been submitted for your attention. It says:
Further to my submission to the Charity Commission re the activities of BRAKE, it seems that the two categories, 1) Vested interests and 2) Likely to bring charity into disrepute are matters that the Commission can concern itself with and they have asked me to forward further evidence for their enquiry to consider the matter.
Basically the complaint I have made in detail is that several of BRAKE'S supporters and backers would gain from Road Safety Policy as promoted by BRAKE and that speed camera & CCTV manufacturers or firms involved with such equipment, could actually be regarded as an unhealthy & disreputable link to a road safety charity by many.
I have also noted that, as emissions and 'preventing the destruction of the planet' as well as 'getting people out of their cars' is nothing to do with Road Safety at all, these aims form part of a totally green agenda and are a political attack on driving. The inclusion of such statements in its aims is evidence that BRAKE may not be about road safety primarily but its policies would however be in line with a sympathetic green lobby group.
Do you think that you have given yourself enough time to consider all of my submission and its implications before so readily dismissing this very important matter?
Best wishes
Keith Peat
Subject: RE: Brake - 1093244 CC:07412466

Dear Mr Peat

Thank you for your emails of 9 and 10 November 2010, in connection with the above charity and your concerns regarding vested interests/political subtexts associated with its activities and funding.

We appreciate the time and effort taken to prepare the additional information you have provided and having carefully considered all of this we would advise as follows:

  1. The Commission has considered your concerns and determined that none of the issues raised are ones which require us to raise them with the charity, or take any regulatory action.
  2. The charity's objects include environmentally related purposes and the Commission's role does not extend to determining the accuracy or scientific basis for statements made by the charity in furtherance of those purposes.
  3. We acknowledge that the charity's website lists as Supporters/Donors a number of organisations and commercial enterprises which could indeed be held to have interests in areas associated with motoring. These interests are however beyond the remit of the Commission to address or comment on - for our purposes we can simply note that for whatever reason they have chosen to make donations to, or support, the work of the charity. It is not uncommon for charities across the entire spectrum of the third sector to have such support - indeed many charities could not continue without such support, particularly in the current economic climate - nor is it a cause for concern provided the funding received is applied to further the charity's objects.
  4. For many people, an atmosphere which becomes un-breathable/unhealthy due to increased carbon content could reasonably be said to represent 'the end of the world' for life as it currently exists. We understand your argument that the world itself may well physically continue, albeit with an altered atmospheric content, however we do not believe that the statement or underlying principle represents a cause for concern requiring our involvement.
  5. Similarly, while we agree entirely that statistics and percentages ideally require a clear base value to enable informed consideration, it is not within our remit to require charities quoting particular figures to include relevant base values. Interested parties are of course able to request these figure directly from a charity if needed.

As we have already advised you, how a charity achieves its purposes (within the framework of charity law) is a matter for its trustees not the Commission. We are not the arbiter of how a charity should best express its goals/aims to the public - except where there is evidence that these are expressed contrary to its objects. While we have no reason to doubt the sincerity of your interpretation of the various statements made by the charity, it simply is not for us to test which interpretation is correct.

The actions or motives of non-charitable organisations or commercial concerns are beyond our remit and authority, we can make no comment in relation to concerns focused on their activites.

We appreciate that you may well be dissatisfied with our decision not to take up your concerns and, while this does represent our final decision, you may care to review our internal complaints process as detailed on our website. The following link will take you directly to the relevant guidance: