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

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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Letter that says it all about camera partnerships.

Flick to the letter page 1st letter (Page 27)  This answer is self explanatory

 I write as an ex cop and have dealt with the accidents, prosecuted them, supplied the stats and indeed held a class 1 police advanced driving qualification and police motor cyclist having served my time as a motor engineer first. I think my CV would entitle me to comment on matters of road safety.

I do not know the qualification however of your correspondent Katherine Barrett, of the Road Safety Partnership, in these matters but I take it, unlike me, she is salaried; whereas I offer my time and expertise to road safety without vested interest or any income from it.
Her response to Brian MacDowal of the ABD was astounding and in many respects highlights the failures of these people.

For a start she uses a term 'excessive speed' which is not an offence under the RTA 1991. What does she mean? If she means 'speeding' why use a four syllable term, which is not a legal state, for a two syllable one, 'speeding' which is? Why indeed do we allow officials to use non-legal terms to confuse the issue at all?

'Speeding' that is the act of exceeding an arbitrary and unscientific number on a pole, set by non experts, cannot cause anything at all; any more than not to exceed it, will not cause anything. The fact is that most accidents are below the speed limits anyway.

Cameras, just like our Speedos but with a camera attached, cannot see accident causes, like too fast, drunk, careless, dangerous, making a phone call, lighting a cigarette at all just like our Speedo can't. They only see 'speeding' which, as I have explained, doesn't cause anything. If this were not bad enough, by going back to basics, who says the limits are correct and appropriate anyway? Who sets them? What is their expertise? Well I can assist with that too. I voluntarily go out and examine speed limit orders and am appalled at the lack of justification or reasons submitted and often they are simply at the behest and aspiration of some local councillor who is no expert either. And on this basis we are prosecuting thousand upon thousands of perfectly safe drivers? And all this is for profit. Not just to keep partnerships, like Katherine's, going but the camera firms, the maintenance people and the installers. If this is all about saving lives, then why should there be any profit or gain for anyone? I don't charge for my advice and work in this.

But her whole case is based on a common sixth form logic which is astounding in it's naivety. 'Make everything slower and the injuries will be less'. Oh really? Well on that logic, let's stop road transport totally and achieve road casualty Nirvana at a stroke! But then, apart from the trait, that she is worrying about impact effect after an accident rather than stopping the accidents from happening to start with, here is the big failing with the Road Safety Industry; their tunnel vision. 

The immediate effect of stopping road traffic would be an economic collapse and thousands dying very rapidly thereafter. So even slowing UK's traffic costs about £3 billion per annum for every 1 MPH, yes just 1 MPH too low annually. (About £30 billion a year). How many lives could we save with that kind of money in a better NHS, better emergency services, better A&E Katherine? In fact why, do we need 43 camera partnerships like hers up and down the land all spouting the same mantra? Let's disband some of those for a start.

Road Safety is not costless but we are never given the other side of the balance sheet are we? For all its piety, it is not altruistic and consumes £billions a year and it's easy to prove that most of that money stops not one single accident.  

The fact is that by focussing on the wrong causes, by profiteering, we are actually contributing to road death. By taking money from the economy, taking people's licences, their jobs, for no good reason, we contribute to hardship and economic death too.

Someone must start looking from outside the Road Safety Industry's box and exposing their self promoting tunnel vision that actually costs lives.

It seems that The ABD are doing it already but we must get more of the 30 million drivers to unite in that aim too.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Phone courses? More evidence that they are not serious about safety!

Greville Burgess. Photo By Lincs Echo.
I have been asked to comment about a new scheme to be run by the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership for a choice of a course or prosecution for phone use while driving. This is our considered response:

'I do see a difference from the 'speeding' courses and the phone courses.
Without a doubt using a phone whilst driving and indeed concentrating on business and other issues whilst driving is exceedingly dangerous,  does cause accidents and is deliberate. Whereas simply driving above an arbitrary and unscientific number on a pole does not cause anything, most who do it are driving perfectly safely, and are often exceeding the limits inadvertently because of the road layout itself.
So where on the one hand the courses are entirely fraudulent at least, with phone use, a course will be able to instruct truthfully and correctly.
Having said that, I ask what is the legal grounds in both cases to ignore a disclosed offence on payment of a course? Either an offence is disclosed or it is not. In my view there was little point in the justified raising of the phone call issue for a separate offence to be created then start wheeling and dealing with it if road safety and saving lives is the true objective.
This is just another example of the Road Safety Industry less interested in what actually kills providing they can sell courses.'  

(Published in full17/8/11 See story here Web version here.)

Keith Peat.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Stop War on Drivers E-Petition.

We have set up a Government E-Petition to Stop War on Drivers. If you don't think it's a 'war' then read this press release first:  Cameron's War on Drivers then sign the E-Petition here