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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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Monday, 30 June 2014

PACTS not satisfied with casualty results.....again

See the PACTS strongly worded statement here

 PACTS are a private lobby group loaded with vested interested profiteers and intent on curtailing road transport while the vested interests make money from fake road safety. We can have road safety Nirvana. Just stop all driving and bingo, but then we would all die from lack of basics soon after. No the secret is for cost/benefit road safety where we are not killing more people from the economics of overs-lowing and hampering a major infrastructure and feeding a multi billion road safety industry. Death by accidents in the home are more than from any cause on the roads. From NHS failings about 6 times more and so on. So what is PACTS, Road Safe, 20s Plenty, Brake and the many others for? An insatiable industry where even zero deaths wouldn't be good enough.

If this report is correct then perhaps at long last our warnings to the politicians are getting through.

But who is David Davies? What is his expertise in all this?

And who is Road Safety GB? The vested interests. More on RSGB Here
Not the same rag bag of amateur profiteers and ideologists as all the others surely. See The vested interests of road safety

Drink drive. Scotland to lower the bar on its biggest voting block?

I am not an advocate of drinking and driving but what I am continuously opposed to is ignoring genuine accident causes to focus on the wrong accident causes and thereby miss the chance to save lives, penalise drivers more and make more money for the road safety profiteers. It's all part of the relentless lowering of the bar on UK's drivers.

See this story of Scotland's intent to lower the drink drive limit to nearly half the current level. From The Mirror

I have noted now how the media will always refer to the failure to pass a drinks test as an automatic cause of an accident when reporting. The question should always be, 'was the drinking the direct and primary cause of an accident?' before citing it as other than coincidental. It's exactly the same for 'speeding'. 'Speeding driver kills pedestrian': We know that 'speeding' cannot cause an accident but other acts and other causes; speeding if present will always be coincidental. That of course will not always be the case with drink driving (as opposed to drunk driving) but never the less, in most cases, the failure to pass the drink test will still be coincidental and not the primary cause of the accident.  So in both examples we are likely to fail to address the real cause of an accident.

It's no service to road safety, with drinking and driving, if the the media and officials don't determine if the drinking was the cause of an accident before saying that it was.

On what Ministry of Guessework figures do 'Doctors' say that the move could save 30 lives a year?  How many accidents have they analysed to determine that these accidents would not or may not have happened below 0.5mg per 1ml? For that matter, how many current accidents are determined to show that they would not have happened at 0.8mg per 1m or below? None so far as I am aware.

Scotland is now very close to lowering the bar on drivers' drinking so that a head cold, the flu, a poor sleep would be more dangerous. I think the current level of 8mg is already below them too.
Kenny MacAskill Scotland's Justice Minister

Before any politicians lower the bar on UK's 33 million drivers, they should ensure that their research is robust enough to justify it. Drivers are a massive voting block in Scotland. Are you sure you must do this Mr MacAskill?

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Driverless cars? Not unless there's a mass cull first. Serious questions.

In my experience this concept is only ‘exciting’ for anti driver minorities, those who earn from such development and those who have no realistic understanding of the crucial nature of the driver to the community and indeed to safety. 

Unlike driver-less trains, motor transport doesn’t travel between just two fixed points on tracks, but by infinitely variable journeys, with opposing traffic or slower and stationary traffic on the track and a track shared by people and animals too. 

Of course it is possible, with sensors, to provide a certain degree of mechanical reaction to other bodies so that in test areas very impressive and ‘exciting’ results can be achieved. However we are deceiving ourselves if we believe that any sensor can see detail a mile ahead and to either side, or the child at the corner of a building. To be able to see approaching vehicles across a couple of fields and begin to react is a long way off if at all possible.
If we are talking about ‘the future’, before we entertain any development like this, we must first identify who or what we don’t need on our roads. We should already be doing this for current road safety but it will be absolutely essential for automated systems for efficiency, safety, and economics. There would be no sense programming automated systems to run at speeds based on unnecessary built in hazards such as cyclists and horse riders.

 There are already contradictions in what a safe passing distance is and the Highway Code advice is clearly wrong and flawed. See how I have addressed the issue at:  whilst the cyclists themselves want drivers to drive with tape measures it seems. So how is an automated system to be programmed in all aspects and by whom? Their driving expertise will be what? Surely we will not be doing this with the usual rag bag of vested interest amateurs or anti driver anti capitalist greens posing as road safety charities are we? 

 But again we are supposed to be considering the future. There are now just two types of road user that society must have to sustain: Walkers and drivers. Isn’t it long overdue that all current policy must be based around that and that, moving forward, an automated system will not be hampered with old policy as today’s drivers are? Well read this piece here. Pedestrians & cyclists to be kings of the road.

With a population mass of 60 million and 33 million drivers based on road transport, how on earth can such a conversion be achieved safely at the same time? How can all these individual journeys, some last minute change of mind journeys within a journey, be programmed? Can we be sure that automated road transport is not just for the domain of the small Gotham like populations of the fanciful comic books when we would need a mass cull with populations moved back to central areas and zones for it to be viable at all?

 Trends in vehicle ownership were established in the 50s when populations were encouraged to live further from their work and their families by successive governments and that is irreversible. Even retail business is now based on bulk buying with massive out of town retail areas and car parks. The ability to buy collect and transport large or bulk items is central. DIY where so much that used to be done by tradesmen is now done by anyone and the ability to carry loads is very much a part of it.  How do we reverse all that?

So before driver-less cars become a mass market I would suggest a mass cull and centralising the remaining population, Gotham City style, would have happened before they can be adopted world wide on a mass basis. How are we to impose them ‘universally’ on third world economies and countries? 

In view of that, it's about time the population and the media started to ask serious questions about driver-less motor transport before, just like wind turbines, the greens saddle us with another anti people economic disaster from which, at the same time, someone else makes a lot of money.

The same unholy alliance of capitalists feeding anti capitalist spokesmen and charities of the anthropogenic climate change movement is also established in the anti people, anti driver, road safety movement too. Yes of course they are excited about controlling us all with driver-less cars. We mustn't just tamely let this happen. Our lives depend on it.  .See Proles can Walk & cycle instead.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Where's the story gone Evening Standard?

Did the Evening Standard, pro cycling, take this page down?A message informed readers it had and a search of the site only produced other versions and tributes to the story
Family of cyclist killed at Vauxhall gyratory begged him not to use 'nastiest' junction

Their site covers the tributes to this rider but although searches find  a 'nastiest gyratory', was nothing about these family comments so they appeared to have been removed.  
'The family of a cyclist killed on London's “nastiest” junction today told how they pleaded with him not to use the notorious stretch just weeks before his ...'
As we keep noting, too many cyclists believe their rights are some kind of guarantee of safety.

Just look at the Elephant & Castle gyratory system. Not a million miles from this one. see and why they're so naive. No chance of simply walking round them or using subways is there? 'Nah it's my right you see'. And as we say, St Peter welcomes them through his pearly gates cos they're innocent.
Even if the Evening Standard won't accept any responsibility, I certainly see it for me to keep up the warnings, often unheeded and often abused for it too by the followers of @KeithPeatsDog and such. .

Friday, 13 June 2014

Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership's porkies on speed.

In this article,
John Siddle of Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership says. 'Not all collisions in the county have been speed related but we recognise that speeding is one of the main contributing factors involved in a collision'

Now either he is lying or isn't fit for purpose. All accidents, including walking into a door are speed related. He is clearly mangling speed with speeding and as Drivers' Union recognise, it's this official mangling of speed that keeps John Siddle and the rest of the Speeding Industry in business. But it is his claim that speeding can cause something to happen that is the biggest untruth. It can't. 

I have sent the following to Lincolnshire media to alert them about John and his media statements.

I am appalled that John Siddle of the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership is still trotting out his propaganda after its flaws have already been pointed out to him on many occasions. He says ' Speeding is one of the main contributing factors involved in a collision'. That is false. I would like him to explain how simply exceeding a number on a pole will actually contribute or cause anything to happen. It can't. Accidents are caused by driving too fast at any speed, often below the limits where most accidents happen. In recognition of that we don't have an offence of causing death by speeding but by either dangerous or careless driving. The councillor's, not very original, ' Speeding is not a target' quote contradicts John Siddle too. Speed limits are not targets because lower speeds can often be dangerous confirming why a limit and if it was exceeded or not, is irrelevant in any accident.

John also makes a false claim when he says ' Not all collisions have been speed- related' Of course they were. Even a man walking into a telegraph pole is speed related. So John Siddle is clearly mangling 'Speed' with 'Speeding' and it is this mangling of the facts on which the speeding and camera industry thrives. 50,000 drivers caught 'speeding' in Lincolnshire tends to prove that 'speeding causes nothing or there should've been 50,000 crashes to go with them and also that Lincolnshire must have many faulty limits or layouts which are generating that volume of lucrative business for the speed awareness courses. These are often run by Limited Companies, that never tell their students that speeding causes nothing, the camera that got them there sees not one single accident cause and that they were likely breaking the limit because the limit is set too low for the road.

But this focus on the lucrative speeding industry deflects from serious accident causes that could be addressed instead. Sadly they have no profit and income potential so people continue to die at the hands of fake, vested interest road safety policy.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

50,000 Lincolnshire speeding tickets in 2013

In this story more than 50,000 speeding tickets were issued in 2013 in Lincolnshire, 600 up on the previous year and 21551 were coerced into Speed Awareness Courses that never tell the truth  but brought in some £1,939590 for the vested interests of speeding in Lincolnshire. 

"The simple maths is: reduce the speed, reduce the severity of a collision that occurs.' Says John Siddle of Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership. Read John Siddle's simplistic rationale 

Oh well John why not have no speed at all?Road Safety Nirvana but killing everyone from the resulting economic collapse. But who says the limits are correct and appropriate John? And that there are no entrapment style enticement sites that cause speeding that can be cured? Oh so let us be simplistic and ask if 'speeding' causes accidents, where were the accompanying 50,000 accidents to go with these speeders?

Most accidents are below the limits anyway and that is because it isn't 'speeding' that causes them but driving too fast at any speed. So instead of mitigating the results of accidents after they have occurred, as John suggests, how about focusing more on what actually causes them? Ok so there won't be any money and income from that but at least it will be genuine road safety unlike John Siddle's version of it.  

Sunday, 1 June 2014

So why should drivers pay for self imposed danger?

From Local Transport Today (LTT)

Revising accident liability law will make our streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians

Now (Here) Chris Boardman is lobbying for this against drivers. 

More Blog on Boardman & Here

Brenda Mitchell, of the cyclists lobby, in LTT is demanding automatic civil liability for UK drivers. See her submission below.

Firstly it is irrelevant what other countries do since we have our own parliament and hope that it will listen to a majority before it imposes such damaging sanctions and liability on essential infrastructure. It is a false premise for the cycle lobby to attach itself to pedestrians since without walkers we would all die very rapidly and that is not so with cyclists.  It is when cyclists make such demands that the rest of us are entitled to ask how crucial road cycling is to the community. A very fair and reasonable question.

I am a cyclist and have been cycling for at least 66 years and have never made any demands at all; I suspect most cyclists are just like me and Ms Mitchell is but a minority of a minority.

Yes of course road cycling is very risky. By definition, it is to place oneself on a slender frame on two flimsy wheels among and mingling with large pieces of heavy moving essential machinery operated by complete strangers of varying skill and mental capacity. If someone suggested it now in 2015, we would send for the men in white coats.  I know the risks and accept them. Ms Mitchell’s letter is based on total subjective judgement of drivers from a cyclist’s perspective for starters. But there are now only two essential road users society must have and cannot sustain without and that’s walkers and drivers.  So all proposals like that of Ms Mitchell must commence on that basic reality surely; not on the premise that we must have road cycling or that they are as crucial as drivers.  

So drivers wake up. This would not only bump up your insurance and be bad for the economy but would give cyclists some kind of priority on the roads too. 

The answer is simple. Cycle or don’t cycle; it’s a choice but don’t keep moaning and demanding changes or more will realise we are far safer and better off without you. In the meantime let’s have all court claims on their individual merit please. Politicians please get your priorities right on this. 

Brenda Mitchell, Cycle Law Scotland
Putting my head above the parapet to champion presumed liability for Scotland’s cyclists and pedestrians has not been particularly comfortable at times. It is a subject that can arouse intense debate and even anger in many motorists. I am, however, a passionate believer that by adopting presumed liability in civil law we can fundamentally change our culture to one of healthy road share and away from destructive road rage.

For me, the 6,000 who have signed our petition, the MSPs and celebrity supporters of our campaign, presumed liability is about protecting the vulnerable against the more powerful and, if introduced, will be the catalyst needed to encourage greater mutual respect between all road users.

In 2012, 902 cyclists were injured on Scotland’s roads, 167 of them seriously. Nine cyclists were killed that year, and 13 were in 2013. Independent research found that cyclists are the victims of bad driving with collisions dominated by drivers’ poor turning manoeuvres. Most motorists walk away unharmed, while the cyclists can be seriously affected by their injuries. The roads are simply not a level playing field.

So let’s deal with the myths, bluster and posturing that comes my way up front.  Presumed liability does not affect the principle of innocent until proven guilty, which is part of Criminal Law. We are seeking a change in Civil Law so that if a motorist collides with and injures a cyclist or pedestrian they are liable to pay the injured cyclist/pedestrian compensation. The protection of the vulnerable already operates in many areas of civil law, for example, those injured by dangerous animals and faulty goods can recover compensation by the mere fact they have been injured by a dangerous animal or faulty consumer product. Civil Law can operate to protect the vulnerable and make it easier for them to seek redress for injury sustained at the hand of another.

Cyclists – and I readily admit that not all of us are perfect – will always come off worst in any collision. Presumed liability places the presumption of negligence and consequent liability to pay compensation on the motorist because they have the control of the powerful vehicle, but that presumption is rebuttable.

At present we have a fault-based system in which the cyclist must prove negligence. Presumed liability simply shifts that burden of proof and presumes the motorist has been negligent as they should take into consideration the vulnerability of cyclists on our roads. The same is true, if a cyclist injures a pedestrian.

If the cyclist has caused or contributed to their injury, any award of compensation can be reduced even down to nil.  Scotland does not have a compensation culture and insurance premiums for motorists will not necessarily rise as presumed liability encourages early settlement, avoiding litigation costs.

Our European neighbours have for decades been able to protect vulnerable road users with civil laws and it has engendered a culture of road share. And like them, we see presumed liability as one of a kaleidoscope of measures that will not only change driver behaviour but is also integral to creating a culture that recognises that the roads are not just for cars. 

Far too often I deal with cases where drivers have failed to pay cyclists the necessary respect resulting in serious consequences.  Jamie Aarons had to fight to obtain her compensation after a taxi driver, parked on her nearside, opened his door into her path. Jamie had no opportunity to take evasive action causing damage to her bike and helmet. After initially helping Jamie to her feet and admitting fault, the taxi driver changed his story, claiming Jamie had simply fallen off her bike and there was no impact between the vehicles at all. 

With the taxi driver backed by a big insurance company, Jamie’s claim for compensation went all the way to the wire. Nearly a year after the incident, the insurance company did a complete about-turn, paying out for Jamie’s moderate claim and her legal costs. Jamie was traumatised by the whole process.

Colin McIntyre was involved in a road traffic collision, which left him unable to work for nearly a month. A taxi turned into his path, knocking him off his bike, causing a fracture to his left elbow and a laceration injury to his leg. Despite the injury being classified by the police as ‘serious’ and the taxi driver clearly at fault, the incident was taken no further and the driver never penalised for his careless driving. [But careless driving is a criminal, not civil offence! MH]

In January 2012, Andrew McNicoll was cycling to work. He was wearing a helmet, bright reflective clothing and his top-of-the-range bike was fitted with flashing lights. A lorry pulled alongside him and in a subsequent collision Andrew was thrown from his bike and into the rear of a parked car. The lorry driver did not stop. Andrew died.

It was 15 months after Andrew was killed before the driver was charged and 26 months before the criminal case was concluded. In all that time, Andrew’s family were not allowed to see post mortem or police investigation reports to know what happened and only once the criminal case was complete could they commence a civil action for compensation for his loss.

For those who have lost a family breadwinner or are coping with life-changing injuries as a result of a road traffic collision, the emotional trauma of this drawn-out process is therefore often compounded by financial worries. With a system of presumed liability in civil law, the driver in such instances would have had to prove why the cyclist was at fault and in all probability the civil case could be settled swiftly, reducing a family’s anguish, or ensuring a cyclist receives the full and proper treatment for their injuries.

It is for all these reasons that I believe presumed liability in civil law is the right response of a society that wants to protect the vulnerable. Enforcing rules of presumed liability on the more powerful vehicle involved in collisions would strongly encourage everyone to take much more care towards their fellow road users, potentially leading to far fewer accidents. It would also mean a far more compassionate, less combative, claim process, which helps, not aggravates, a situation.