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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Friday, 10 December 2010

7th 8th 9th January Driver's year 2011



Would you consider selective use of your car for three days if it didn't inconvenience you at all?

Now fuel is at a record high with 150% Tax Markup.

It is about time that our 30,million drivers demonstrated their power. Truth is if we all stopped doing it the economy would collapse and thousands more would die than are from any driving cause.

It's simple. We all don't do something that we don't do most days anyway, but all don't do it on the same three days!!

We are being mercilessly criminalised, over taxed, hampered and slowed by officialdom on the behest of profit and gain and to feed the public transport lobby too. We are also sustaining an aggressive multi billion pound Road Safety Industry which dreams up more and more ways to criminalise us or take more money from us too. Then there are the £120 parking fines as well. Why? Because the authorities pretend they are doing us a favour and to drive is a 'privilege'. It is not. It's the other way around. We employ most of them. We pay most of them; if we didn't drive, many of them would be out of work and we are a massive lobby.

Perhaps it is time we showed how vital we all are then!

This would not inconvenience you at all. Here's How:

Excluding all those who drive for their profession for obvious reasons, the rest can still make an impact by avoiding use of our cars and motor vehicles where it would impact most. Retail parks, or Hypermarkets or filling up and non urgent garage servicing during those three days. Re-arranging our routine around the three days and avoiding the theatre or cinema or favourite restaurants etc.

These all have massive car parks because.....they need drivers....!!

By shopping locally and avoiding out of town precincts, retail centres and city shopping centres, DIY, theatres, cinemas and malls, all of which rely on the car, during that three days. It would be dead easy for you but a powerful message to business and politicians alike to support the drivers of this country.

Show them there is no bus or train carriage that can carry us and all the goods we need to get in our cars and that public transport can never be an option without private transport.

Limited only by our imagination, we, as private drivers, could show what impact the driver can have without even using the professional wing of the driver army.

Let's do it. 7th 8th & 9th January 2011 make 2011 Driver's Year. Pass it on. 07722917074

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Jail for an error?

Should drivers be jailed for doing what the Government, Society and the community allow them to do for the economy and their expediency?

Perhaps we need to look at this question again but from the perspective of the majority, instead of the shrill anti driver minority, usually from a green agenda, on whose behalf imprisonment is now regularly being meted out to beleaguered drivers.

Perhaps we should have spotted the way things were headed when the word 'accident' was removed from official vocabulary. Is this coincidence? After all, it is a bit harsh to bang someone up who simply made a mistake and had an accident isn't it? Then of course there is the mantra, a la Brunstrom, that road accidents must be treated as a murder scene with all its attendant forensic examination to boot!

But let's look at it this way. What does the Government expect when it allows humans to mingle with large pieces of moving machinery in a way that would offend any elf'n safety rules and be banned if it were a private concern? So it is expedient that, with meagre qualification, any Tom Dick & Harry is let loose with large pieces of metal kit with flesh and blood intermingled.

Now having done that, it allows inexpert but profitable agencies to have a major say on what should and should not happen and thus are accident scenarios set up for us too. For example the DfT and its Partnerships, in ignoring the self evident such as, 'Remove the need to overtake, reduces the attempts to overtake and thus reduces the head on crashes', or 'The more drivers can see the safer they are' actually sets up the accidents and the resulting casualties does it not? A classic example can be found on this site ( Our fault if we crash so that's ok then! ) where I argue the self evident that by restricting dual carriageways to 50 MPH means that one can only legally pass an HGV on a two way road with opposing traffic, where the DfT is setting up crashes, the response? 'It's all your fault if you crash'. And on that basis judges are imprisoning people?

Let's start off on the premise that, excluding drunk driving, no-one sets out to crash and kill anyone so we are imprisoning people for an accident where most of the ingredients for it were supplied and endorsed by the authorities in the first place. But how on earth can we send people to prison for an action where on one occasion there is only bent metal and no police interest at all and another, from exactly the same action, but for the tragic coincidence that human flesh got in the way as it is bound to do from time to time?

Any judges out there like to explain this one to us?

Monday, 6 December 2010

Skid control.



Someone wrote to me for information of the nearest skid pan for a daughter who had had a fright. My reply might help others so here it is:

Hi David,
If she goes out now she won't need a skid pan mate. But seriously I do not know of one but if you visit the IAM site, I am sure they include skid pan experience in their training.
In the meantime, I can help her now:

Don't go out unless it is essential.(*see note) Find a large flat area with no traffic, like a weekend quiet industrial estate, and try some simple remedies to get confidence as follows:

  • Four wheel skid. Basically when the car is sliding straight. To create one, drive straight (not fast) and slam brakes on. This will cause a four wheel slide. Remove the cause by releasing brakes and it will bring back steering. I used to demonstrate this by slinging my hat out in the snow, driving at it, creating a 4 wheel slide and then my passengers tell me what side to pass the hat on. It works believe me and the only way to believe it is to do it. Start slowly and then build up with confidence. So to correct it, simply remove the cause, which is braking, and gently steer around object or, to stop, if the ABS hasn't kicked in for you, jab jab jab the brakes (cadence braking) until she stops in a straight line before the object (hat).

  • Two wheel or one axle skid: Take away the cause which is power (Foot off the accelerator peddle that is). This should then recover traction and steering. Add cadence braking to this too if the space is running out and there is no space for a direction change so stopping is essential.

  • A rear wheel skid, on rear wheel drive, can also be recovered by steering briefly, no brakes or throttle, towards the direction that the rear is going to straighten it out. But if space is too short use cadence braking to stop in a straight line.

  • Always get deceleration and slowing done on the straight and not in a bend or a turn and try to keep the engine as your slowing agent with minimum brakes.

  • In bad conditions, 2nd gear will get her around locally with the least braking required and best control using the engine.

  • To avoid skids or correct them on snow or ice and slippery roads, speed and space is the key as well as smooth and gentle steering and braking. Leave at least three times the normal safety distance from the nearest vehicle ahead and three times the normal stopping distance. This will give more time to react correctly to the skid.
It may well be that, if we are now to experience prolonged snow and ice regularly, Snow Chains will become the norm and a good investment.
Take her out and have some fun. Fun is also the key to confidence too.

*Note: Ideally private land with permission. Do not share the space with other users. (One at a time or move off.) Learning to control a car on ice is just as legitimate as any other driver learning and improvement, providing that it is genuine instruction and not just for 'fun' in my view. The police may disagree but on what legal grounds, I cannot visualise. If they ask you to stop, don't argue with them.

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:
BRAKE.
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:

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Road Safety not Consensus Edmund.



From: Local Transport Today 29th October 10

Road safety should be left to those with genuine expertise

Keith Peat, Association of British Drivers, East Midlands regional co-ordinator, Sutton on Sea

AA president Edmund King, in defending his massive public poll on road safety and driving matters, is also defending himself (Letters LTT 15 Oct). There are too many inexpert cooks interfering and controlling the life and death issue of road safety. And many, like the AA, who are in the motoring insurance business, have a vested interest too.

Mr King is regularly referred to by the media on road safety and driving matters but how does being the president of a motor repair, recovery and motor insurance firm, make him an expert driver and road safety spokesman?

Likewise the ladies of BRAKE, who are supposed to be a victim support charity, are treated as experts too. Yet BRAKE’s list of sponsors also means they have a massive vested interest.

Road safety is the only life and death matter that I can think of where every Tom, Dick and Harry has a big say. Mr King compounds this problem by trying to make it a consensus issue of thousands of other non-experts like himself.

The Association of British Drivers, unlike Mr King and the AA, are totally independent experts with no vested interest and who, as self-funding volunteers, have no reason to tell it other than as it is.

Like any poll you can get the answers you want to get. At the moment a poll I am running says that 87% think the road safety industry’s billions of pounds, of which insurance is a part, would save more lives in the NHS and emergency services. But is this how we want road safety to be run? By vested interest in-experts craftily polling thousands of other in-experts?

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Charity Commission complaint.


BRAKE is sponsored by profit vested interest companies from motor insurance, public transport and yes even a speed camera firm.

Part of my complaint to the Charity Commission:

'........It's interference, commentary and media statements are way beyond victim support, which I applaud and is into the very dangerous life and death realms of matters on which it has no expertise or understanding; as such BRAKE is therefore not only political but probably highly dangerous as well. The danger is that most of the very lucrative Road Safety Industry that supports BRAKE, are not only with a vested interest of massive profit but most of its activity does not stop one single road accident either. Incorrect conclusions in road safety will also kill!

The above is contrary to BRAKE’s stated aim of ‘stopping carnage’ then. And most of this is achieved by exploiting charities like BRAKE to present an emotional false case on the Industry’s behalf.

If the Charity Commission are to allow BRAKE to make statements on other than victim support or to interfere in the life and death issue of road safety, then I charge that they have vested interest supporters and are thus themselves with a vested interest and that must cease. If they wish to continue to make statements about driving and road safety then they should acknowledge independent experts who are willing to assist a correct conclusion otherwise they will be no more than a political anti driver group with little knowledge of their subject. Is that what the Charity Commission supports as this subject is far too serious to be made a political one as seems to be the case with BRAKE...........'

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Prince Michael's Awards Innocent!

HRH Prince Michael of Kent can be forgiven for believing that the pious Road Safety Industry is just a nice, caring, benign, charitable and costless necessity when in fact the reverse is the truth.

Its very sound-bite and mantra, 'Speed kills!', fails scrutiny. Fact is speed being motion, quite simply, without it the heart stops and we die; so actually the slogan 'No speed kills' is more the truth. It is also a fact that since man took to the horse, the train,plane, faster shipping and production, the faster it went so life expectancy has gone up not down in the faster economies.

So their very untrue sound-bite is a metaphor of the Industry itself. Why would anything honest need an untrue sound-bite anyway?

The Road Safety Industry is a very aggressive and highly costly industry which actually promotes anti driver and dangerous inexpert comment from charities like BRAKE for example. They are supposed to confine themselves to victim support but are increasingly commenting on the highly intricate matters of driving and road safety; aspects for which they are not qualified.

Why is it that in any other life and death issue we would rely very heavily on experts and yet in driving and road safety, virtually everyone from civil servants, councillors, MPs, most police officers who are not specialist, every Tom Dick & Harry and I suspect Princes too, are experts? A recipe for exploitation if ever there were one. But not only is this a life and death issue, people are prosecuted and even imprisoned too.

Surely before awarding people and groups with medals, His Royal Highness should ask a few questions of truly independent experts on this life and death matter and certainly ensure that there is no vested interest involved.

He could do no better than ask himself why so much focus and interest in it when there is more death from accidents in the home?

I can tell him that there certainly are vested interests behind both the medals I am aware of this year. In fact it looks to me very much like the Industry awarding itself. I doubt if any truly independent and voluntary experts will be invited to the presentation ceremonies or even be considered for a medal either.

I have written to Prince Michael to offer my time for him voluntarily and at my own expense.

Watch this space!!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Spending cuts and speed limits.



Since 2006 there has been a very costly and totally unscientific speed limit review set up by the last government and is still ongoing until 2011?

I have been surveying these and they are not based on any rationale or accident history at all. For example: 50 limits on dual carriageways, will inevitably mean that overtaking where it would be safe becomes illegal so crashes will inevitably be created by this policy on two way roads and single carriageways with opposing traffic.

Most of the unscientific limits of this review has cost the country billions to install and in the unnecessary slowing and criminalisation of a major infrastructure, about £3 billion per annum for every 1 MPH reduction.

Has this nonsensical speed limit review been considered for immediate abandonment within the financial cuts not withstanding the highly dangerous elements as outlined?

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Open letter to Institute of Advanced Motorists


Why is IAM promoting speed cameras?

'Speeding' That is to go above an arbitrary and unscientific number on a pole cannot cause an accident. Too fast does, both above or below the limit but no camera can see that.

Does IAM agree with that statement and that most drivers or people answering its recent poll would not know that?

Since when was life and death road safety a non expert consensus matter? Or indeed how many of those polled were driving experts?

Given that without speed/motion we would all die, is 'speed kills' a false soundbite which may have influenced your poll?

East Midlands

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Challenge to ROSPA: For or against road fraud?





ROSPA have just published their top accident causes and included was just enough nonsense to justify the continued prosecution of safe drivers. Here I challenge them BRAKE, RAC & AA to denounce it.

Hi,
When will ROSPA accept that physics would not support the notion that to exceed an arbitrary and unscientific number on a pole can cause anything, let alone 5% of accidents, any more than not to won't? That is why most accidents are below the limits. What you have is simply 5% of untrained and unqualified reporting officers ticking a box that shouldn't be in the STATS 19 form.

Speed is a factor in all moving accidents but not 'speeding'.

It is focusing on 'speeding' that feeds an insatiable Road Safety Industry and causes death by deflecting from real accident causes. Further more, the habit of slowing traffic unnecessarily costs about £3 billion a year for each 1 MPH, about £40 billion a year. How many lives could we save with that?

Is ROSPA interested in the lives lost to this profiteering at all?

The official use of terms like 'excessive speed', which are not even in the R.T Act and are really elements of reckless driving at any speed, to muddy the water between 'speeding' and reckless driving for profit, is criminal conduct and fraud to my mind.

Where is ROSPA, BRAKE & AA on all this? Does ROSPA, BRAKE & AA condone this fraud?

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

PACTS, BRAKE, DfT & Iain Dale wrong.

I am an ex police patrol driver and I have to challenge certain statements in Driving for Change in Behaviour by Christian Wolmar. 14/9 http://bit.ly/b7ord2

He says that the statistics show that the Association of British Drivers has it wrong about too much focus on speed. Clearly, like Ian Dale, who he quotes and the course instructor at Dale's speed awareness course, neither he nor they are experts in driving accidents or road safety. Worse the instructor is not at all altruistic in her message and in any case, being a mother of an accident victim, is no qualification either. Therein lies the problem. Too many non experts having a big say in this life and death matter. The Parliamentary Advisory Committee of Transport Safety, he quotes, is actually nothing more than an important sounding private lobby group with vested interests and without any experts either.

Of course speed is a factor in all road accidents; without speed nothing would be moving on the road at all. So when Julie Townsend of BRAKE says 'It's a contributor to a majority of crashes', I would like her to describe any accident, whether involving planes, trains, bikes or even running, where it is not a 'contributor'. So much for the experts of BRAKE then; perhaps they should just stick to victim support.

But the figures quoted by Wolmar are totally bogus too. For a start, physics would not support the notion that to exceed an arbitrary and unscientific number on a pole, 'speeding' will cause an accident any more than not to won't. Too fast causes them, is often below speed limits and thus most accidents are below the speed limits. Unfortunately most reporting officers are not specialists and do not know this. So all the 28% shows is that 28% of reporting officers ticked a box that should not be there anyway. The correct figure is zero per cent because speeding causes nothing. The millions of speeding tickets issued should each have been after a crash if it were not so.

Christian Wolmar also uses a term favoured by the officials, BRAKE and PACTS. 'Excessive speed'. Where is this in traffic law? It does not exist. It is an element of reckless driving and is nothing to do with 'speeding'. One causes accidents and the other is just coincidental to them. Why has he readily accepted a term, not even recognised in traffic law? It is used liberally by the mighty and aggressive Road Safety Industry, criminally to my mind, to confuse reckless driving with 'speeding' in order to justify a profitable policy of unnecessarily hampering and criminalising perfectly safe drivers and to ignore real accident causes whilst doing it. I refer to this effect as 'Speed Kills! kills'.

But what is the issue anyway? After 300 billion driver miles a year there is less death on the road, from all causes, than from accidents in the home. I think the answer can be found in the countless billions of pounds being consumed yearly by an insatiable Road Safety Industry; I can think of no other explanation for all this nonsense.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

May I respond to the comments made about me on the very important matter of road death and prosecutions of safe drivers by Peter Mann ( Letters 10/9). There should be no such misunderstandings left outstanding.
He asks where I get my statistics from: The statistics I use are those from the DfT 1976 to 2008 and from the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership. The former show a very steep drop in accidents to the advent of camera partnerships when the drop actually levels out. The Latter clearly show that some of the worst Lincolnshire years were after cameras. My interpretations come from two aspects. I only allow the fatal figures because they are absolute but mingling the subjective 'seriously injured' numbers, as the authorities always do, is to muddy the water. I also expose the 'at our sites' figures (inserted by the officials) as bogus because they are affected, mathematically, by what is called 'the regression to the mean'; an effect where a balloon on a stick would produce the same figures.
However since the 1990s we have also had better vehicles, ABS, air bags, crumple zones, booster seats, better roads, A&E, paramedics and rescue too. One would have expected that, from 95 on, the figures would have been far better than they have. We can be forgiven then for suspecting that perhaps the Partnerships and their aggressive policies that prosecute safe drivers, while unnecessarily and expensively, slowing a major infrastructure to cause more prosecutions, have actually not been doing at all well.
Mr Mann then uses the term 'excessive speed' twice. The authorities often talk of it too. But it doesn't exist in law! There is only 'speeding', that is to go above a number on a pole and cannot cause anything, or reckless driving, under which, the state of 'too fast' or 'excessive speed' is reckless driving.This occurs above and below the limits and is why most accidents are below the limits. These non legal terms should never be used by officials but they do so, criminally in my view, to confuse us and thus mingle 'speeding' with reckless driving to justify camera policy.
Peter then misquotes me. I have only ever asked 'If speeding causes accidents, why are there no piles of wreckage at the end of every street?' never in the context of the slogan 'Speed Kills!' as he says. But 'Speed kills' is an untrue soundbite. It is untrue because, as any GP will confirm, without speed and motion, everything stops, including our hearts, so it is more true to say 'No speed kills!'.
This issue is far too important to stand on silly, and simplistic sound-bites because it is on such sound-bites vast fortunes are made. It is therefore no coincidence that I can also ask why in the pious Road Safety Industry nothing comes cheap? Do the TV campaign producers and performers do it for love? The seatbelt and car booster seat makers, the air bag makers, your friendly road safety man? Why not? If it is all in the cause of saving lives why not just work for cost? And that is what this is all about Mr Mann. There is more death from accidents in the home so why all this focus on prosecuting safe drivers by setting limits that then create the 'speeders'? Oh the cameras don't come cheap either.
My object is to achieve maximum road safety with less hampering and prosecution. Is that so bad Mr Mann?

Sunday, 5 September 2010

RSS Ltd in trouble?

Remember Road Safety Support Ltd? See ACPO's little helpers or click on the RSS Ltd label.

Read this about them and the CPS. Read Here

Dear oh dear.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Why speed cameras worry me.

When I was a copper I always had to believe in the justness and fairness of any prosecution I instigated. I always needed to be convinced that, before I caused someone worry, threatened their livelihoods, their licences, their jobs and yes even their families, it should be necessary and fair. And this is what concerns me about speeding prosecution. If my ex colleagues were to apply those morals and questions to their work now, none of them would ever pick up a speed gun again.

I am able to say that because, unlike them, I voluntarily study and survey speed limit orders and it is on these orders that the whole 'speeding' and camera policy is based, that the whole issue of speed limits and cameras is flawed.

Let's just ignore the fact that physics would never support that 'speeding', that is the act of exceeding a number on a pole will cause an accident any more than not to won't, and ask who sets the limits? How do these lolly pops with numbers get there? Shouldn't we as police officers be interested in that? The Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership, who run cameras and prosecutions, actually confessed on a radio show that they care not a jot about the limits themselves 'That is not our remit' they told the Peter Levy Radio show.

I am continually appalled by the lack of content and information contained in the speed limit orders; bearing in mind that, based on them, people become 'speeders'.

What special road safety or driving background do the speed limit setters have? There is never any accident history contained in the orders and most I survey are set unjustifiably too low.

Worse still they are often at the instigation of no more than local parochial councillors and village NIMBYS. All these speed limits join up and all these roads and streets are national. So we have a national speed limit policy based on nothing more than local unqualified opinion and on that basis police are pointing speed guns? Prosecuting people?

How many of these police & prosecutors are taking the time to survey and study speed limits before they rush someone into the courts? If they believe that there is science to speed limits then ask themselves what can possibly be scientific about the mathematical coincidence of the exact numbers 20,30,40,50,60,& 70?

Police should see it as their first duty to justify to themselves any prosecutions and never take their role in that lightly. They should be of the people and for the people and independent. As it stands, they are being used by a very aggressive and profitable Road Safety Industry fronted by well meaning charities as well as local busy bodies. Not their role at all.

Keith Peat

Saturday, 14 August 2010

'It's our fault if we crash' So that's all right then!


I have written to Mike Penning, Transport Minister via my MP to point out that when they restrict the safer dual carriageways so that you cannot legally pass HGVs there, you push the overtakes out onto the two way roads and opposing traffic instead and cause crashes. He and his merry men, having set the trap, say its our fault if we crash. So that's all right then!
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And this little gem from his man at the ministry: 'As I explained in my previous email, there is simply no need for drivers to overtake slow moving HGVs if it is dangerous to do so. A driver’s responsibility is to ensure they and all other road users travel in safety and it is not sufficient to blame a drivers dangerous and unnecessary acts on changes of speed limit.' So there.

Paul Cox

Department for Transport


Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Partnership cares little of speed limits


Lincolnshire Partnership's, John Siddle confesses to BBC Humberside the Peter Levy Show, hosted by Caroline Davis, that whilst happy to run the speed cameras and criminalise people, they have no idea if the limits are properly set and appropriate to justify their cameras and their tickets in the first place. 'It is not their business' they say. In an answer to Keith Peat.

The same Partnership somehow got the Lincolnshire Echo to publish the misleading statement that fatals had been 104 in 2003 prior to the cameras being 'rolled out'. The Partnership and its cameras have existed since 1998 and there were 104 fatals in 1999 and in 2003. Why the deception?

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Humber bridge car tagging.


The HBB are now after recognition tags to be fitted to cars where the drivers supply their banking details to speed up bridge tolling. There are a number of obvious snags to this but whether we agree with tolls or not, this is the thin edge of the wedge for the use of these tags and also the ANPR system to be applied anywhere. Where next? Grimsby? Lincoln? Louth by-pass?

The fact is that the cash bins on the QE2 Crossing auto tolls work very well so there is no need for an expensive and intrusive tag option at all.

We must oppose this loudly. Take the survey on this page.


Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Drivers Action

Well the survey has ended and 88% of drivers who took the survey would consider some sort of simple protest and demonstration to show that they are very important to the community and the economy.

But why did allegedly 'driver campaign groups' be so negative and un-supportive? People who could and should have announced the survey as a fact, would not do so!!

Is it because they are more interested in promoting only their ideas and initiatives?

Well it is a fact that drivers are a powerful lobby group and should demonstrate their power.

Next time I run this survey, I will name and shame any driver's group that do not support us. Better yet I urge my own group, the ABD, to run one much more publicly. This 88% has shown that drivers will back selective action.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Driver's Retail embargo protest.

Complete the survey (Right).

Would you consider selective use of your car for three days if it didn't inconvenience you at all?

It is about time that our 30,million drivers demonstrated their power. Truth is if we all stopped doing it the economy would collapse and thousands more would die than are from any driving cause.

We are being mercilessly criminalised, over taxed, hampered and slowed by officialdom on the behest of profit and gain and to feed the public transport lobby too. Why? Because they pretend they are doing us a favour and not the other way around.

Perhaps it is time we showed how vital we all are!

Would you consider selective use of your car for three days if it didn't inconvenience you at all?

Excluding all those who drive for their profession for obvious reasons, I think we can still make an impact by avoiding use of our cars and motor vehicles where it would impact most. Retail parks, or Hypermarkets or filling up and non urgent garage servicing during those three days. Re-arranging our routine around the three days and avoiding the theatre or cinema or favourite restaurants etc.

By shopping locally and avoiding out of town precincts and retail centres which rely on the car during that three days.

Limited only by our imagination, we, as private drivers, could show what impact the driver can have without even using the professional wing of the driver army.

I am running a survey, (right) for a month to see if there is the will and the interest for it.

Keep an eye on how it is going and if it takes off, we will set the three days to run it.
Pass this on.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Road safety bad for health



First we have Bob Gifford of PACTS writing to the Health Minister (click here): And for those of you who do not know PACTS, (Parliamentary Advisory Committee on Transport Safety), sounding very important and official, is nothing but a private lobby group of non-experts, and is overloaded by vested interest groups, from public transport, insurance, speed camera manufacturers and so on.

Then here is my letter to the same minister:

3rd June 10

Dear Mrs Milton,

False road safety policy affects public health.

I congratulate you on your appointment as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health.

I am writing as an ex traffic officer, who has dealt with road accidents, compiled the statistics, prosecuted traffic law, prepared accident abstracts for the legal profession, a class 1 advanced police driver and motor cyclist, and my trade was motor engineer. I think I can claim to be an expert driver and an expert in road safety.

Unfortunately nearly all those who will advise you on healthy transport will not be experts at all and in most cases have a vested interest and another agenda. I do not. I am totally altruistic in my work and my concern is in three basic areas:

  1. We fail to address real accident causes. A subsequent health issue.

  1. We criminalise drivers needlessly. This causes stress.

  1. The cost of the massive and profitable Road Safety Industry to the economy means that there is less money for health and thus people die.

You would never imagine, from the publicity and promotions that since 1993 road casualties were dropping massively before expensive Road Safety Partnerships and their cameras and in fact have flat lined since. Do you appreciate that, after about 300,000,000,000 driver miles per year, there is less death on the road from any cause than by accidents in the home? About 4 times more for breast cancer and about 4 times more for asbestos related illness and about 6 times more from NHS failings?

So the Road Safety Industry, represented by a private Parliamentary lobby Group and several other charities and foundations it sponsors, tend to overstate the negatives of the private car owner and road transport too. This is always in favour of the public transport operators and operators and manufacturers in The Road Safety Industry.

That this is a multi billion pound industry, where no-one in it is so for altruistic reasons,(Why not if it is about the good cause of human safety and life or death?), can be judged simply from the very costly equipment that is now required, from crash helmets and seat belts to booster seats, air bags etc., that apart from the profit motive, although they undoubtedly save lives, don’t actually stop one single accident happening in the first place.

The falsehoods about speeding, perpetrated by a simplistic and untrue slogan and the official use of non legal terms such as ‘excessive speed’, ‘too fast’ ‘in a hurry’, all of which are used by officials and in police statistics and yet do not exist in the Road Traffic Act. These all come under dangerous driving and are simply used to muddy the facts to justify false speeding policy which is costing this country billions.

We estimate that for every 1 MPH we slow road transport, it costs on average £2,000,000,000 pa. (About £20 billion a year total). How many hospitals could you build with that? How many ambulances and fire engines could you buy with that? How many lives could we have saved? So what is the cost of this highly lucrative Road Safety Industry, its in-expert lobby groups and charities, in the terms of lives lost to its false policy and costs?

When a motorway is closed for 11 hours or a city closed for half a day, whilst a road accident is treated like a murder scene, how many millions of pounds are lost? What of the knock on accidents later in the day through stress, making up time or tiredness? Who is costing the activities of this industry and the impact it does have on the NHS and the economy? No one? Why not?

A study of trends will show that there has been very little gain but so far there is no study of the impact of the costs of road safety policy.

Why do we have over 40 road safety partnerships all spouting the same mantra? Send the emergency staff back to their stations to save lives there and make up the shortages in the police, ambulance and fire service from where they came. Employ the civilians elsewhere until, by natural wastage, they are not replaced.

We need to think radically about freeing up the driver, restoring speed limits to a natural level as the 85%tile method did. Focussing on real accident causes and above all, understanding that the British driver is doing very well and if they were not doing it, the economy of this country would collapse overnight and many thousands would die from it.

Beware of approaches from vested interest and unqualified lobby groups. This life and death issue should only rest with independent experts in the subject.

We now need to be turning these costs around and saving lives at the same time; both directly on the roads but also by efficient use of the driver and the roads.

I will be most happy to assist you further. Best wishes and good luck in government.

Sincerely

Keith Peat

Friday, 28 May 2010

East Midlands Meeting

We will gather at the White Horse nearby from about 12 noon, where they do really nice lunches at about £9.50 for two orders.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Beware of Expert Sources Ltd


There is nothing more dangerous in dangerous pursuits than non-experts calling themselves experts.

Very often someone calls themselves 'expert' when their CV really doesn't quite cut the mustard.

There were never so many as there are in the world of driving and road safety.

An ex Journalist & his wife dreamed up a little money spinner called Expert Sources, http://bit.ly/dApAwc where, for a large fee, anyone can be registered on their database as an expert commentator on just about any issue. This information is then freely available to lazy journalists who cannot be bothered to find the real independent experts with no vested interest.

It appears that no qualification is needed to be quoted by the media, from this database, other than paying to be on it!!

How dangerous is that? Especially in the life & death issue of road safety and driving where, as we know, there are already far too many 'experts' meddling in our lives.

I did enter a dialogue with Bob, the co-founder to try to ascertain how, apart from the fee, his firm vetted the experts.

All I had was insulting diatribes trying to justify the scheme but no answers. The last exchange follows.


Sir,
This is very definitely our final response.

It appears nobody is an expert in anything - apart from yourself.
Good luck to you.

Expertsources.

Don't be silly. We have experts in sky diving, mountain climbing, use of firearms, deep sea diving and so on. All highly dangerous pastimes.

I have not promoted myself other than to ask you where do you define experts in dangerous activity apart from paying you a subscription? Do you seriously suggest that is enough to be directing the media in these life and death issues?

I have asked you to explain to me how you vet these 'experts' apart from their subscription to your organisation and you are unable to provide me with answers. Do the media know about this and understand it?

I am quite happy with my professional CV which is entirely appropriate in my subject which is driving, road safety, accident statistics and driver law. Please do tell me who you have listed in these matters as experts and precisely what their qualification is.

Regards