The Driver's Site for the East Midlands

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.

Motorists & Drivers' Union is at www.driversunion.co


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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Oh no. Yet another road safety charity.

Read the story here.

How on earth can the community afford yet another road safety charity? There are countless of them. Yet death from all causes on the roads after 300 billion driver miles a year is less than from accidents in the home.

If that were not bad enough, road safety cannot be based on amateur emotionalism yet the media insist on citing these amateurs about a life and death issue. In this story, 'speeding' is being given as the cause of a fatal accident. Experts know that 'speeding' cannot actually affect anything so here is one example of how dangerous these charities are for road safety. Indirectly the sponsorship money would save more lives if in the NHS, rescue services, ambulance and police.


Saturday, 27 December 2014

So what do we gather from this sharp rise in speeding fines?


See speeding-fines-surge-to-highest-level-since-2009


To justify prosecuting tens of thousands of perfectly safe drivers who are not about to have or cause any accident for speeding, we all have to believe that all speeding is deliberate. If it were not so, the only conclusion left is a fault with the speed limit or a speed enticing layout that could safely support a higher speed isn't it?

Whenever I talk to committees and groups, I ask them how many go out to deliberately speed and break the law? No-one does. Yet listen to police traffic officials and their whole premise is that this is all about catching unsocial disobedient drivers. They have to parrot that idea to persist with their very lucrative, if unimaginative speeding policy.

One of the signs that there is a problem at a site is a high number of offenders without the accidents to match the offences. This is a certain indication that the limit is too low and the layout is inviting a higher speed. If a site was generating thousands of accidents wouldn't it be a duty to find out why and correct the problem? So shouldn't the same principle be applied to prosecution too?

A spokeswoman for the Department for Transport said: 

Speeding can have devastating consequences and it’s 

right that drivers should abide by the speed limit."


What driving CV the 'spokeswoman' has I can only guess 

but in fact she is wrong. Speeding causes nothing at all.


Well clearly one of the conclusions that may be drawn from these figures is that the speed limits and their cameras are not achieving their object are they? The system is failing; unless of course you count the profit from it all that is.

I challenge ACPO
to address the problem instead of pretending that it is all about disobedient drivers, and to educate DfT officials about speeding too.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Cyclist's rule to impede & frustrate other road users? Do we need them?

 

In this story Cyclists are encouraged, by The Government no less, to use their bodies to impede and obstruct essential infrastructure.

Let's face it, driving and drivers are very much part of our infrastructure.

Without going into detail, this long piece written by cyclists for cyclists by something called the The National Standards for Cycle Training, tells its students to actually prevent drivers from passing or making progress by deliberately obstructing them with their own bodies. 'Dare to pass me and if I die it will be your fault'. They claim that drivers are very happy with that. Oh really? On the basis of what survey question was that statement made?

I have queried this: As an ex police class 1 advanced driver and road safety expert, I am disturbed that you are publishing advice which seems to be that people should use their unprotected bodies to deter motorists from passing them when cycling. To maintain a position in the road, contrary to other advice to all road users to keep to the left, but instead to deliberately impede and obstruct other road users.

I am also a lifetime cyclist and one of those like many millions before me, that don't moan and don't demand anything and I ride a nice upright sedate type of bike, as is common on the continent and as opposed to the lycra spandex racing style of the avid cyclist's lobby behind these stories.

I always feel that, when such articles are published, or more demands are made by cyclists, we should point out that unlike motor transport where society would literally collapse without it, the same isn't true about cycling. In fact, in reality, there are only two road user modes we must have and sustain; walkers and drivers. The rest are an unnecessary liability and hazard for crucial infrastructure.

It doesn't seem to occur to anyone that cyclists don't need to do it and nobody would miss them much if they didn't. So before encouraging people to be in roads at all, we should ask do we need it and must we have it? It's a fair question.

But amazingly this is being promoted by the DfT who seem to be quite happy about hampering and curtailing drivers. This is why Drivers' Union is urging drivers to keep nagging their MPs and getting a dedicated parliamentary driver's group too..   

  See how the Government are behind this nonsense.
.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Drink drive. A perspective.

On the issue of Drink Driving and the current campaign against it as promoted in your issue of the 11th December, I think it is possible to include a totally independent and expert view rather than just of those with vested interests, and non experts with hidden agendas, like BRAKE the Charity, who are very much part of a massive road safety industry.

Like taking any kind of telephone call whilst driving, alcohol consumption and driving do not mix and so I support any initiative to reduce it. 

However, we must try to maintain a perspective about it which is not apparent in the article.

 'Drink driving remains one of the biggest killers on our roads' we are told. But death from all causes on roads is lower than from accidents in the home and yet we do not breathalyse people at their kitchen sink, or doctors and nurses; even though death from NHS failure is about fifteen times higher than on the roads. Is it only road death that concerns us then? Of course not but it does rather beg the question: 'If this isn't either about vested interests or anti driver ideology, shouldn't we be spending just as much time on all avoidable death and injury then?'

We are told that 230 people were killed involving someone over the limit. I must point out that that doesn't mean that the accident was caused by drink driving but that a driver was over the limit and that's all. How anyone can then say, 'A further 65 deaths are caused annually by drivers, who had been drinking not over the limit', is a complete Ministry of Guesswork mystery. 

If we focus only on the failure to pass a drink drive test after an accident, we lose focus on the real accident cause and that is dangerously counter productive. So we must not allow ourselves to be deceived about accident causes if we are concerned about road casualties.. 

Julie Townsend, an executive of BRAKE Charity, and who has no CV in accident reporting, prosecution or top road driving, is quoted predictably demanding a lowering of the drink and drive limit to zero tolerance and yet we are told that, under the present criterion, 6550 people still failed the existing test last December and Lincolnshire Police are catching 80 a month. How then will reducing the test level be effective if the current level doesn't work yet? Rather like lowering speed limits, all it will do is create more offenders who previously were and still are quite safe.

Lowering a limit simply doesn't make people more dangerous. 

What is the point of lowering the drink drive limit to a point where a common head cold or lack of sleep would be far more dangerous on the road? But one thing is for sure, whenever a bar is lowered on drivers, there is money to be made, more kit to be sold and maintained, more expensive courses to be sold by course providers and so on.

I would prefer that we focus on real road safety but I am still able to advise against drinking and driving too.

Keith Peat

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Life after Beeching. So what replaced trains as main transport infrastructure?

After Beeching cut railways to the core, we failed to provide the exclusive priority enjoyed by trains and railways to the obvious alternative; road transport. How can we then hamstring such substitute strategic infrastructure with unnecessary hazards, liability and ideologically and environmentally based speed restrictions and prosecution? 


Richard Beeching, Baron Beeching (21 April 1913 – 23 March 1985), commonly known as Dr Beeching, was chairman of British Railways and a physicist and engineer. He became a household name in Britain in the early 1960s for his report "The Reshaping of British Railways", commonly referred to as "The Beeching Report", which led to far-reaching changes in the railway network, popularly known as the Beeching Axe.
As a result of the report, just over 4,000 route miles were cut on cost and efficiency grounds, leaving Britain with 13,721 miles (22,082 km) of railway lines in 1966. A further 2,000 miles (3,200 km) were lost by the end of the 1960s.[
On 27 March 1963, Beeching published his report on the future of the railways. Entitled "The Reshaping of British Railways", he called for the closure of one-third of the country's 7,000 railway stations. Passenger services would be withdrawn from around 5,000 route miles accounting for an annual train mileage of 68 million and yielding, according to Beeching, a net saving of £18m per year. The reshaping would also involve the shedding of around 70,000 British Railways jobs over three years. Beeching forecast that his changes would result in an improvement in British Railway's accounts of between £115m and £147m.[7] The cut-backs would include the scrapping of a third of a million goods wagons, much as Stedeford had foreseen and fought against. See Gourvish (link below)
Unsurprisingly, Beeching's plans were hugely controversial not only with trade unions, but with the Labour opposition and railway-using public. Beeching was undeterred and argued that too many lines were running at a loss, and that his charge to shape a profitable railway made cuts a logical starting point.[4] As one author puts it, Beeching "was expected to produce quick solutions to problems that were deep-seated and not susceptible to purely intellectual analysis."[8] For his part, Beeching was unrepentant about his role in the closures: "I suppose I'll always be looked upon as the axe man, but it was surgery, not mad chopping."[9]
Beeching was nevertheless instrumental in modernising many aspects of the railway network, particularly a greater emphasis on block trains which did not require expensive and time-consuming shunting en route.
On 23 December 1964, Tom Fraser informed the House of Commons that Beeching was to return to ICI in June 1965.[10]

Monday, 1 December 2014

BRAKE deceiving the public yet again.



In this Wales on Line story  Brake trot out their predictable falsities.

When will the Establishment realise that these amateurs with no CV in road safety or driving are highly dangerous to all of us?  I have written to Wales on Line as follows:

 I am concerned about your article in Wales On Line by James Rothwell, on the high speeding offenders being generated in Wales. 

None of your commentators actually have a CV in the subject and BRAKE, ,an anti driver group with no CV in driving or indeed road safety at all, show it in their very faulty, untrue comments. I am afraid that even the pro driver remarks are little more than unsubstantial whinges.

BRAKE are totally incorrect to say all speeding is dangerous. 

To exceed an arbitrary number on a pole cannot cause anything to happen at all. Driving too fast causes accidents and that is most often below the limits; where indeed most accidents happen. It is wrong for your readers to be misled by anyone on this. I explain the effects of speed here  See Understand Speed

 When a site generates thousands of offenders without the attending accidents, that is evidence that they were all probably driving safely so speeding causes nothing. But it also indicates a problem at the site such as a faulty speed limit, poor signage or an enticing layout.

If the object of the camera is to maintain a limit then these high numbers mean that it is failing miserably in its objective. If these were thousands of accidents, would the police just keep taking pictures or find out why and correct it? So then let's not pretend that this is any more than a revenue raising exercise where, in Wales alone, two limited companies are doing some 6000 speed awareness courses a month, earning them £300,000 pm and the local forces some £180,000 pm.  

I survey many speed limits and most I survey are inappropriate and very often, if in a wrong combination, will actually cause accidents. 

BRAKE's position assumes that the limit is correct in the first place but most unintentional speeding is caused because the limit is wrong or the layout is deceiving and thus poorly signposted. As a result of this, most speeding is totally safe driving. So only extremes, should be prosecuted and if that excessive, the charge should be dangerous instead of speeding. If death is caused by excessive speed, the charge would not be causing death by speeding but death by dangerous driving; demonstrating that even the law doesn't see speeding as an accident cause.

Although the piece assumes these drivers are Welsh or local, that is highly unlikely because these easily identified speed enticement sites will only catch strangers in large numbers.

If you are going to cite amateurs on matters of road safety and driving, can I offer my services to you for some expert balance instead? I am sure that your readers would appreciate the truth on these matters.

I even provide a 24/7 media comment link from which, using topic labels, you will probably find an appropriate quote that you are most welcome to use if you cannot get hold of me. 

Wishes

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Drink Drive: ACPO Ltd trying to lower the bar again.


In this Sunday Express story: Drink Drive: ACPO Ltd trying to lower the bar again. We have the avaricious Road Safety Industry in full flood.   



The conference, or bun fight that all these people were at, was run by a charity Road Safety GB Ltd, and having researched this costly outfit, I was very disappointed to find a distinct lack of road safety or driver CV in their credentials as well as an unwillingness to accept balance against road safety vested interest and ideology. Do see See about RSGB Ltd here

So here we have an example of two Ltd Companies, ACPO & RSGB, trying to run road safety and it seems to have been unchallenged so far. 

Don't get me wrong. I am not an advocate of drinking and driving but I am an advocate of perspectives and getting our priorities right. Of course If I am polled about it, I would respond against drink driving but who sets the agenda? Who arranges the poll or survey? We should be asking why it is such a priority in life and what is the true agenda behind it? Profit? Vested interests? Anti driver ideology?

Of course ACPO want to lower the bar on drivers. Whenever they do that, more money rolls into the coffers of the insatiable UK Road Safety Industry. Do see a perspective about all UK road death from all causes See.

So now they want to lower drink drive influence to below the effects of a head cold or a sleepless night! To justify it they predict life saving based on what criteria? We are in danger of assuming that a failed drink drive test was the cause of an accident and so when we do that, the causes of many accidents become overlooked and that is very worrying and counter productive.

As for PACTS,
here is yet another band of amateur road safety spokesmen who tend to be anti driver in much of their output, whilst the IAM 
actually support the wholesale prosecution of perfectly safe drivers presumably because it generates training courses for them.




So next time you're asked if you think the drink drive limit should be lowered ask: 'Who's asking and what's their interest?''Do they stand to gain at all?'

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

91 in a 30 zone? Is dangerous driving.

In this story 91 in a Bradford 30 zone  there is the usual confusion between speeding and dangerous driving. 

Of course those ideological anti driver amateurs of road safety, BRAKE have been cited again.

I have written to the paper and I sum up how the public are being led astray about speed and speeding and how dangerous BRAKE really are.

Here is my letter: 

 Hi, as an Ex police traffic officer and expert in road safety and driving I am concerned about your article on the speeder at 91 MPH in a 30 zone. It is very misleading; primarily as you have included a quote from BRAKE, an anti driver group with no CV in driving or indeed road safety at all. 

91 in a 30 Zone is dangerous driving and no longer speeding. Rather like common assault, which has progressed through ABH, and GBH to murder is no longer common assault.

BRAKE are totally incorrect to say all speeding is dangerous. To exceed an arbitrary number on a pole cannot cause anything to happen at all. Driving too fast causes accidents and that is most often below the limits; where indeed most accidents happen.

I survey many speed limits and most I survey are inappropriate and very often, if in a wrong combination, will actually cause accidents. BRAKE's position assumes that the limit is correct in the first place but most unintentional speeding is caused because the limit is wrong or the layout is deceiving and thus poorly signposted. As a result of this, most speeding is totally safe driving. Extremes, as in this case should be prosecuted and if that excessive, the charge should be dangerous driving since it has gone far beyond speeding. Had this driver killed someone, the charge would not be causing death by speeding but death by dangerous driving so clearly speeding, in this case, is the wrong charge...

If you are going to cite amateurs on matters of road safety and driving, can I offer my services to you for some expert balance?

I even provide a 24/7 media comment link from which, using topic labels, you will probably find an appropriate quote that you are most welcome to use if you cannot get hold of me. 

Wishes


Monday, 24 November 2014

A defence to speeding?

Dear Mr xxxx,

I am cc-ing this to Michael Pace a driving solicitor who you may consider. See our site page on an article he recently wrote for some background. http://bitly.com/1t1QMkS

I am not clear if you are saying the limit was forty but I assume you are saying that it was still a 30 MPH section where the layout enticed a higher speed but 30 MPH repeater signs would've helped you at that section.

I have long campaigned against what I call 'Speeding enticement layouts' that actually entice unintentional speeding. These can be identified by their high offender rate without the same amount of accidents to accompany the offences, and indeed, as in your case, where police set up a mobile camera. Why pick that spot unless the potential to catch speeders is high? See http://bit.ly/1zdk3wl

I always feel that these questions should be asked in these cases and also the number of other tickets generated at the same site. The more the merrier because this means that the limit is failing so if the object is to keep drivers to 30, something clearly isn't working there. The officers could be asked, 'Why did you pick that spot?' and 'If these were accidents, would the police just keep taking photos or would the site be sorted out?' That is my view as an ex class 1 police driver and prosecutor. 

However Michael Pace may have other ideas and I am not a lawyer. Of course he may advise you to just pay the ticket when he has looked at the case in detail.

I wish you well, and will add you to our mailing list of supporters. If you wish to make a contribution to our fighting fund, you can do so via our home page.

Wishes

Keith Peat.  

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Academics, vested interests and ideology but who will programme driver-less cars?

Look at all these professors and no top drivers to talk about driver-less cars to a select committee. So what level of driving will they be programmed to? Certainly not the most progressive and efficient. Will we re-set speed limits to being most efficient for them?

What is the road transport ideology or vested interests of these academics? Won't that affect their evidence?

Will this committee fail to ask obvious and relevant questions as they did here?  http://bit.ly/1jHpTQN

Take control of our transport modes and that means taking control of us too.

Keith Peat
www.driversunion.co ;
-
Transport Committee
 
Select Committee Announcement
 
19 November 2014
 
For Immediate Release:                                              SCA 042/2014–15
 
Oral evidence SESSION – Motoring of the future
 
·         The Transport Committee
 
 
Monday 24 November 2014, Room TBC

Witnesses:
4.05 pm
·         Professor Eric Sampson, Visiting Professor Newcastle University
·         Andrew Miller, Chief Technical Officer, Thatcham Research
·         Darren Capes, Transport Systems Manager, City of York Council
 
4.50 pm
 
·         Richard Cuerden, Technical Director for Vehicle Safety, Engineering and Assurance, Transport Research Laboratories
·         Professor Oliver Carsten, Professor of Transport Safety, Leeds University
·         Professor Pete Thomas, Professor of Road and Vehicle Safety, Loughborough University
 
This is the third evidence session in the Transport Select Committee’s Motoring of the future inquiry. The session is likely to focus on how new safety technologies will affect road users, pedestrians and insurers.
 
 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

BRAKE & AA exploiting kiddies for a bogus anti driver cause.

In this Daily Express story here, we have everything that Drivers' Union was set up to oppose and indeed expose.
 Here we have anti driver ideology, vested interests and the exploitation of kiddies to obtain a no brainer survey result just to make life harder for drivers to go about their lawful business.

'Two in five (kiddies) have been hit by a vehicle or had a near miss while cycling or on foot' Says the BRAKE survey.

First question. Where was this survey of five thousand of our primary school kiddies? Who gave consent for it?

We have already raised the issue of local road safety officials who have no CV in the subject and no doubt idolise the ladies of BRAKE. See it here and we do know that schools are dangerously allowing our kiddies to be brain washed about drivers and road safety so who was behind this survey of our kiddies? Are we allowed to ask?

But then look at the question and the answers. All this really says is two in five had a near miss not that two in five were actually hit. If two in five kiddies were getting hit we would certainly all be in uproar and so too would be the media. So what is a 'near miss'? How subjective is that for a Q & A? 'A miss is as good as a mile' goes the saying and on the roads that is perfectly true. 

67% of these hijacked children think that local roads can be dangerous for walking and cycling. What sort of no brainer is that? Of course roads, like railway lines and airport runways are dangerous places. But why link cyclists and walkers? Roads are nowhere near as dangerous for walkers who generally do not share the same space as drivers do. Why not warn our kiddies that road cycling is very dangerous by definition? Instead BRAKE are happy not only to promote this risk to our kiddies but to use it on an anti driver crusade. BRAKE are not prepared to address road safety if it is to the advantage of drivers at all; even if it means that our kiddies are exposed to the gravest risks of all then. 

BRAKE then observes that a million a year fixed penalties are 'picked up by drivers'. If we include parking, I would be surprised if it is only a million. But this means nothing at all since many of these fixed penalties are for perfectly safe driving or issues that don't cause accidents. 

In saying that, five people are killed and 61 seriously injured per day on our roads, It fails to mention that if we allowed people to cycle and ride horses along train lines, or had opposing trains on the same tracks as each other, casualties would exceed road casualties which are already less than from accidents in the home and five times less than from NHS failure. See road death perspective 

And this survey was 'strengthened', says the Express, by an AA poll of in-experts of 16600, three quarters of whom think that drivers are not considerate enough and that motorists are always in a hurry. Well again a totally subjective poll and without seeing the questions or their context, are pretty meaningless as they stand; especially given the outstanding record of UK's drivers already stated.

The article ends: 'Pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders make up half of those killed on the roads.'  But let's have a breakdown of this. I bet the biggest death groups of these are motorcyclists and cyclists. So shouldn't we be closely looking at both of them as to whether society must condone such a dangerous mode of transport? This isn't such an unreasonable proposition for any high death toll is it?

As a lifetime motorcyclist, I can confirm how dangerous motor cycling is having been a victim of driver mistakes on more than one occasion. But, in balance, because of the time/distance/load factor of motorcycling and that it does not generally impede but complement road transport options, there is some justification for it. However, one thing I can say for sure is that society really doesn't need horses or cyclists in the road at all. Any chance of BRAKE and the AA admitting that in their quest for 'road safety'?

Well here we must understand what AA and BRAKE are really about. AA make money from driver prosecution and its President Edmund King recently demanded more £100 tickets to be handed out to drivers when he was promoting cyclists. See it here AA has long ceased to speak for drivers as its interests are too widely spread. The pedigree of Edmund King includes a previous tenure as President of the RAC Foundation, not to be confused with the RAC, and they are hardly pro-driver in their outlook and policy. 

As for BRAKE, just Start with this.

Oh come on Daily Express. Please look for some balance for these anti driver stories. Especially when they're really all about ideology, profiteers and brainwashing school kids.

Another court gets it right but why put drivers through this?

Again a court sees through the attempt to incarcerate drivers for a dangerous scenario that society allows and encourages See the story here. 
 'Mr Searle had fallen off his bike on the B4368 between Craven Arms and Bridgnorth after clipping the wing mirror of Mrs Willocks’ red Kia,' 
Says the report. So a cyclist clips your wing mirror, falls off, gets killed and you are now looking at jail time?

'Constable Ian Edwards, a collision expert for West Mercia Police, said sunlight would have been shining directly into the eyes of drivers travelling eastbound on the road on the day cyclist Mr Searle was killed.'

The cyclist had been hit by a further two vehicles whilst laying in the road. But why? Clearly there was a common problem existing at the site, and that may well be the sun light exacerbated by glare from a wet road.

But look at the picture of the road. Anyone walking, cycling or riding a horse on the driving side of that road would be risking a serious accident. 


We must review what roads are primarily for and I suspect that is exactly what the courts and juries are doing already. See another such case


It's about time our politicians addressed this reality too. Scapegoats don't bring back the dead.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Local Transport Today: Yours truly on speed cameras.

Speed cameras are still used as revenue-raising devices

Keith Peat, Drivers’ Union
As an ex-police officer who has prosecuted many drivers and completed many STATS19 forms, I am sorry that Iain Reeve finds the unnecessary prosecution of hundreds of thousands of perfectly safe drivers “boring” (ibid).

I certainly don’t think it’s boring, especially when most of these are then coerced into handing cash over to private companies in lieu of judicial process.

For me, if a camera is generating thousands of offenders, as they do, that means they are failing. If they are doing so without the attendant accidents to go with it, it tells me that either the limit is flawed or the layout is enticing inadvertent speeding. Incidentally, it is also evidence that speeding actually causes nothing to happen. It is therefore obvious to me that the speeding is being allowed to continue at these sites because money is being made and for no other reason.

Iain demonstrates the mistakes and simplistic lack of understanding of the subject on which a flawed policy is based when he says that “speed is a contributory factor in the majority of crashes”. Speed is a factor in all road crashes just as it is for someone walking into a lamppost. Without speed there would be no accidents at all, and without speed there would be little else either.

When we are discussing speed cameras we are discussing ‘speeding’ as opposed to ‘speed’. The fact is that ‘speeding’ to exceed an arbitrary number on a pole cannot affect or cause anything – STATS 19 is wrong about that – so let’s be clear speed is not speeding. One contributes to accidents and one doesn’t.

Iain belongs to the school that basically says ‘The slower everything goes, the less chance of an accident and the bigger survival rate’. So let’s have zero speed and a road safety Nirvana then. No death on the roads but the death of all of us from lack of essentials instead. There is an economic cost to slowing down road travel.

Yes of course we must have speed cameras, but not cameras that are focusing on perfectly safe drivers, who are not about to have an accident, at the expense of better road safety measures that would save lives and an expenditure that would save even more if used in other services. 

Friday, 14 November 2014

Speed. BRAKE does it again



In this Sun story, 
 about the predictable result of their FOI request that men get more speeding tickets than women, The Sun call in, those amateurs with an agenda, BRAKE for a comment.  The result is a crass observation from BRAKE that 'Speed is a factor in all road deaths'. Err well yes it is BRAKE as it is a factor in everything, including walking into a lamp post. See understand speed here

Without speed there would be no road accidents at all, but without speed there would be nothing else either.

This story wasn't about 'speed' it is about 'speeding'. Doesn't it worry The Sun that the Speeding Industry needs to mingle the two because 'speeding' actually causes nothing at all and that cannot be confessed. The 2346367 2.3 million speeders who didn't crash tend to make the point.

Road safety is about life and death with the added dimension of the prosecution of millions of drivers so why does the media persist in calling upon amateurs like BRAKE for their view especially when it is palpable nonsense?  See time to shut these amateurs up Sun

See how to help us campaign for UK's drivers by registering free and making a contribution to a fighting fund. www.driversunion.co

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Yellow Lines are like speed limits

Yellow lines have much in common with local speed limits.


  1. We don't query their presence or validity.
  2. They are arbitrarily set by local officials
  3. They make money
  4. They curtail and impede driving.
For the history and purpose of yellow lines see Parking fine explosion. How its done.

The point is that yellow lines are not about obstruction of traffic flow or danger-that's what kerb stripes are for- but merely to stop parking on roads and make it more difficult for drivers to get to towns and cities without being forced out of their vehicles onto public transport or into expensive car parks.

There are far too many yellow lines; it's as simple as that.

There are thousands of square miles of parking space available around our towns and cities that could be turned into parking spaces. 

What is worse, councils are favouring selected drivers by letting them have permitted parking within yellow line zones at a peppercorn rent, simply because they chose not to live in houses with private parking space. Why be so selective? We could turn thousands of miles of yellow lines into parking permit bays at the same yearly rate for all drivers or for a higher pay and display hourly and daily rate bringing in massive income for local authorities as well as bringing more commerce into our cities.

If ever there were any need for evidence that the anti driver anti car ideology prevails in our local authorities, then here it is. 

So why not lobby your local councillors for less yellow lines and more parking bays?

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

A breakthrough for road safety and drivers?

It is with delight that Drivers' Union and I can announce that we now have the commitment of one MP to form a dedicated all party parliamentary drivers' group.

The Hon. Ian Paisley MP BA (Hons) MSSC has clearly seen the need for such a group and has written to me pledging his intent to form one. If you need to know why drivers need such a group, then See the reasons and his letter here in PDF. 

Until now, I could never fathom why that there was so much anti driver draconian action and policy being so readily adopted in Parliament and the ministries- certainly over the last ten years- given that we all depend on drivers and that there are 35 million of us.

It transpires that, although among the 627 All Party Groups there are several with aims and policies against the interests of drivers, there isn't one single group dedicated to drivers at all!

This is very important because good genuine, not for profit, or anti driver ideology road safety, is really good for drivers too. The two go very much hand in hand.

Why shouldn't drivers, one of the single biggest taxpaying groups of voters who are affected by road safety have by far the biggest say in it?

Well with their own APG, drivers can begin to do exactly that and cause to be re-visited some of the recent profit based legislation and policy that has been adopted against their interests and that of true road safety too.

Let's take the amateur profiteers out of road safety.

If this all makes sense to you, why not register support for our work and even donate to our fighting fund to make it happen at Drivers' Union

Saturday, 8 November 2014

BRAKE miss the obvious to blame a driver

The amateur anti driver, well paid BRAKE
Charity are missing the wood for the trees to blame elderly drivers and demand yet more driver regulation after yet another cycle death. See the story.

Oh yes a very old driver, who may have passed out at the wheel, killed a cyclist who was totally exposed to all sorts of drivers; including ones that may pass out at any time irrespective of age.

Again the bitter cycle lobby will accuse me of victim blaming when I point out the obvious: Human flesh and big machines on the move don't mix very well and ask 'why do we do it?'.

BRAKE'S response? Ignore that after 300 billion driver miles per year, death on the road, from all causes is lower than from accidents in the home - begging the question 'why so many big earning road safety charities then?- so what does BRAKE predictably demand? More driver regulation that's what.  

How about focusing on the concept of road cycling itself? No chance whilst road safety, driver regulation and road use priority is currently totally being run by a left of centre liberal elite against the interests of the majority who use and depend on UK's motor transport and its drivers. A liberal elite who have just earmarked £650,000,000 a year, £10 a head, from all of us to support someones favourite hobby to the disadvantage of essential and important infrastructure.

The well paid amateur ladies of BRAKE have been busy this week. Now lauded by Sky TV for talking nonsense about drink driving and demanding even more action against drivers who drink and drive.
I don't recommend drinking and driving as the two don't mix in my opinion and anyone caught over the limit deserves all they get. But again let's get UK's road death in perspective. There are more fatals by accident in the home and how much was that down to a penchant  for downing a bottle of Shiraz whilst at the stove or climbing a ladder on several pints of Bishop's Finger? Where are BRAKE and the breath testers then? See fat cats of UK road safety

They cite about 300 deaths a year from 'drink driving'. Let's be careful here. How many road fatals are really caused because and only because, of a drunk driver?  Is this another callous manipulation of statistics of fatal accidents? If we are talking about fatals where a driver was simply over the limit, then BRAKE should say so because that is entirely different from accidents being caused solely by drink driving. The danger of this is that, if we focus on a failed drink drive test, we are likely to ignore the real causes of the accidents and deal with them.

Unlike the charities, I and Drivers' Union, want to focus on accident reality and nothing else.

This is why we must get an All Party Parliamentary Driver's Group for genuine, profitless road safety.

For BRAKE See Follow the money
 

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

MPs Scream for longer driver jail again

Alok Sharma
Can you believe the naivety of some MPs when it comes to jail for drivers?

Maybe it's not naivety at all but Reading West MP Alok Sharma is repeating the same call for driver's jail sentences for death by dangerous driving, Story here 14 years, to be increased for every victim in a multi fatal accident as Caroline Dinenage did back in March. See my comments then.

Are these MPs really so foolish or do they hate drivers this much?

Drivers should be sentenced for their actions and not the outcome of their actions.

The reason is very simple. For a start dangerous driving is a matter of opinion and not fact. It is usually based on the subjective opinion of non expert and hostile witnesses who would never be allowed for any other case involving long jail terms. This is very important because in all other trials witnesses are restricted to fact and not their opinion. For drivers, the law is written to provide an entirely lower burden of proof for jailing them. This cannot be right. Why aren't MPs like Sharma and Dinenage not concerned about that?

Dinenage actually belongs to an All Party Parliamentary Group, with other anti drivers, Why Not Jail Drivers More Group (Justice On Our Roads Group)

But it isn't like a mass murderer who has deliberately aimed at each victim with a separated and deliberate attempt to kill them all. With drivers, their intent wasn't deliberate and the outcome of their action is purely terrible luck and coincidence. How can you ask for a jail term for exactly the same action simply because  the outcome was a lot more than just bent metal? Or because instead of one person dying, two did or three did?

Do these MPs not realise that if something is unintended and unforeseen, jail will simply not work as a deterrent. Jail is only a deterrent for the deliberate act and that doesn't mean road accidents.

This story shows more than anything why UK's 35 million drivers must have their own dedicated Parliamentary Group because until they do, Parliament is decidedly anti driver. 

Friday, 31 October 2014

Bright sun? Does the rule work?

Rule 93 of the Highway Code tells drivers and motor cyclists: Slow down and if necessary stop if you are dazzled by bright sunlight.

Pretty self evident common sense I would have thought. I doubt if there are many, if any, drivers who just continue driving while being blinded. It would need someone incredibly brave as well as insane to the point of suicidal to drive blind. So is this rule necessary?

The story that raises this question is about two drivers who struck and eventually killed a cyclist, having said they were blinded by bright sunlight, and both were acquitted of causing death by dangerous driving. See more on this here

This is one of these, cast in stone, rules where we accept that, if you break it, you are automatically guilty of an offence.

But how realistic is Rule 93?

For a start it cannot be policed or proved unless a driver admits or says that he was blinded by sunlight. It depends totally on drivers incriminating themselves after an accident. And it is only after terrible accidents that the rule is cited in careless or dangerous driving cases. So is that all this rule is for? To be able to point fingers of prosecution after accidents have happened? If so, it's a bad rule for bad reasons. A loop hole covering rule. 'I was blinded by bright sunlight officer'. 'Thanks I am arresting you'. Here's a classic example

But it is also an unrealistic rule because sunlight and being blinded is often momentary and if we jammed our brakes on every instance of it, it would actually cause accidents. But it's not at all unusual for the brightness to be simultaneous with rounding a bend or coming over a hill at where, in either case, there is also a cyclist or stationary vehicle in the road too. Here you will see it's not theory. So the rule isn't at all realistic and the situation it is meant to address, isn't as clear cut as to justify a conviction; especially a term of imprisonment by citing it. Thank God another jury sees sense.

It may well be that the rule is a bad one, intended only to aid a prosecution after an accident its only practical use, but if it is giving road users the impression that they are safer with the rule to protect them then that makes it very dangerous because clearly it cannot cover most instances of commonly being blinded whilst driving.

We would be better with no rule at all than a bad one that doesn't work.

Cyclists, walkers and horse riders. If you're riding into the sun, so are the drivers coming up behind you. Just keep that in mind.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Pot Holes. Letter of the week.


I must disagree with Councillor Richard Davies when he says that 'Pot hole capital' (22/10) is due to 'generations of under- investment'. Our roads collapsed in one sustained period of extreme cold weather over a period of just one month, January 2011. and not over a long period as he suggests. I raised this then on my web site and the page is still there to this day. We should all be asking why this happened? Our roads never used to collapse like this. They dont in Alaska, Scandinavia, Eastern Seaboard of the USA or Iceland do they? So what has changed? Don't tell me that officials, in a total belief in global warming, have been laying cheaper Mediterranean surfaces have they? These roads, which retain pockets of water are fine for warm climates but are totally unsuited for northern climes when retained ice would expand within the road and break it up.

If I am correct, not only would this mean that our roads would need to be re laid in their entirety but by a much more costly and once abandoned method too. This is why I said in January 2011, our 'Third World killer roads are to stay'. And if I am correct, there should have been wholesale dismissals in all our county councils too. It isn't difficult to imagine a cover up under these circumstances; especially when valid questions are not being asked by politicians.

Councillor Davies should really be looking much closer to home for the culprits; it's all too easy to blame central government at times. Why and how did this happen?


Wishes


Keith Peat

Drivers' Union

Monday, 27 October 2014

Drivers Correctly acquitted of causing death

In this story. two drivers, who hit the same cyclist and eventually killing him, have been acquitted of causing his death. One has been convicted of careless driving.

Basically both drivers were blinded by bright sun.

Driving instructions and the Highway Code are quite clear on this. If blinded, drivers should slow down and stop.

But this isn't realistic. See: Does the rule work?Bright lights, including the sun, are intermittent and at night, we are continuously being blinded by lemmings who think they must have headlamps on in well lit streets. See here. The conclusion is that if we took the rule literally, traffic would be at a standstill frequently all over the roads network. It would probably cause more accidents as, just in this case, the cyclist and first driver were stationary. We would end up killing more people, not just from that, but the economics of vital infrastructure frequently stationary too.

I know I will be accused of victim blaming here but how wrong are the cyclist's family to imagine that he was entirely blameless. He was riding into the sun too. Didn't it worry him that approaching drivers may not be able to see him? The problem with cyclists is that they refuse to accept that, in exposing themselves to big fast approaching machines operated by complete strangers of varying skill, they depend too much on their right to be there and their right not to be killed and injured and that is to ignore the obvious. Would this poor victim do this again given the chance? Are any cyclists to heed this warning or will they rail at me as the only person prepared to state the obvious?

Another aspect of this story should be heeded by drivers too. The first driver told police at the scene
At the scene, he told police: “I was coming up the hill and the sun was facing directly towards me.
“I couldn’t see anybody in the road until the last second. I basically heard a thud and saw something.
“I immediately braked and stopped and it was only when I got out of the car that I realised I had hit a cyclist. “I went over to talk to him, he was conscious and talking and leaning on his bike at the side of the road.”

The other told police 'he was doing between 30 and 40mph at the time of accident.' He added: “I started to slow down because of the car and because the sun was shining over the top of the hill. I had the sun visor down but it was still difficult to see.”
These comments made at the time of trauma and stress meant that they were rewarded for them by being sent for trial with a potential of 14 years imprisonment. Had they not made them, not only would they have saved themselves a lot of worry but possibly the cost to the community for their trials too.


Of course the police in this case may be able show that the sun was in the drivers' eyes at the time and that could have been put to them then or in the trial but no instant response is wise at the time. Let police do their investigations and then, if it's necessary for your interview, it can be done at a more appropriate time and with legal representation; even then, you are entitled not to make incriminating statements and responses.   

The best advice that I can give drivers under these terrible circumstances, is not to make such comments, even if arrested and without legal representation.

Don't believe that a failure to comment, under these dreadful circumstances, will be held against you. The courts are very fair places but it's far better to avoid putting the matter to the test isn't it?