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.

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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

North Yorks to up profit against perfectly safe drivers

As an ex cop, prosecutor and 1st class advanced police driver and motorcyclist I can verify that 'speeding'- to exceed an arbitrary and unscientifically set  number on a pole- picked by non experts and politicians-cannot actually cause anything to happen. I can also verify that most speeding is caused by an inappropriately set limit, or enticing road layout or both. This is likely where we have high offender sites without the accompanying crashes to go with it. If these were accidents, would police just pitch up with cameras and take pictures or find out why and sort it?

So isn't prosecution also important for those involved? If there are high offender sites without crashes then there is something wrong at the site. Don't let's just mercenarily let it go on and take the money, find out why. It is worsened when those entrapped are offered a let off for payment of a course. Any payment not to a court, and often to a limited company for reduction of penalty is pure corruption and no incentive to correct the problem. You want dishonesty? These cameras only measure speed so why spin that into 'Safety Cameras' they cannot measure safety. It's the language of the snake oil salesmen. That it is police using it is appalling.   See the paveway to profit here.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Grantham Councillor thinks vested interest based road safety & driver prosecution, is Ok..

'In this life and death issue, you seem more protective of your officials than of genuine road safety. Do you imagine that I confront a very powerful industry, including police, without considering libel risks when I publish? I am doing this voluntarily at my own cost for the community but I shouldn't need to.' KP.

 'How can we improve our work and better listen to you?' Asks LCC & Councillor Richard Davies.

Providing you aren't an expert and know what you're talking about with evidence and self evident common sense to back it all up and it's not about life and death and prosecuting lots of people for profit eh Richard?

KP.'Why are you being so defensive and rude to me? I am giving my time voluntarily and at my own expense to get pious profiteers and vested interests out of road safety and to stop many thousands of perfectly safe drivers being prosecuted, not just unnecessarily but also for profit and in most cases and often because of faulty local policy too.

you are writing as if an expert yourself. I don't know what your background or profession is but all of this was my profession. 

I do not intend to offend anyone but because every butcher, baker and candlestick maker is involved in life and death road safety, with the added dimension of prosecution and even jail, the vested interests, profiteers and ideologists are having a field day. I have a whole site proving it. Now do you wish to learn from someone with no vested interest or talk down to me? Before you decide, let me remind you that most of your constituents are drivers or depend on them and I am one of them.

You say this about me:'in general terms I thought everyone would know that the term 'speeding' can lead to such instances and did not need the clarification you require.'  Please do explain the mechanics and physics of how, to exceed an arbitrary and unscientific number on a pole, can cause something. It cannot and does not. That's why we only have death by careless or dangerous driving and no death by speeding'.  

So much for politely listening to people then. Richard.

I wrote to Richard on June 30th very concerned about the habit of the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership misleading the public about the effects of speeding and the high offenders of Lincolnshire proving that something is going seriously wrong in Lincolnshire. See Lincolnshire's 50000 speeders here and About LRSP 'porky pies' here. I also copied the letter to various media too. I had no response from Councillor Davies -not entirely unexpected since he's already shunned good independent expert road safety advice- until after The Lincolnshire Echo kindly published a version of the letter.
But by then I had already received anonymous veiled threats from someone claiming to be involved with the partnership. Do see the comments attached to the Porky Pie post..  

When Councillor Davies did reply, he was rude, personal and indeed evaded some of the most serious issues, including what is the legal authority to coerce drivers, on threat of legal action, to stump up money other than to a court and to explain the mechanics of how exceeding a number on a pole can cause something to happen?: The main cause of my complaint. Ignoring the work I have done to explain speed here Understand speed  he persists in defending the term 'excessive speed', not a legal term at all, that he says is about 'speeding' but fails to explain why not to just use 'speeding'? It has only two syllables where 'excessive speed' has four! Well we all know what 'speeding' is but what on earth is 'excessive speed' and why use it if there is no intention to confuse us all? He also parrots 'speed kills!', the goldmine of all soundbites too.

'Yes on the 6th form basis that the slower everything goes the less severity of casualties but that is focusing on outcomes and not preventing the accidents isn't it? That's why most of the multi billions the massive road safety industry takes from our economy doesn't actually stop one single accident. Ok on that basis let's stop all road traffic and we have road safety Nirvanna but we would all soon be dead from lack of basics.' KP.

The exchanges in full can be found Here. But here are some interesting parts:

RD:'The excess speed point is quite clear to me, in that excess speed exacerbates a problem and can have a direct result on the severity of any injuries thereafter.'

'The conditional offer is currently £100 and 3 penalty points whereas the course fee is £90 and NO points.  The course is an option, not mandatory.  If a driver wants to take that option they can and, as far as I know, this falls within the framework of the law however, if you feel this has in fact broken the law you can challenge this through the Courts, as can any driver should they feel aggrieved.' 

KP: 'You seem to be justifying coercion, by doubtful means, of drivers accepting a course, in many cases to pay Limited Companies 'or else get points' when the usual cause of them being in the situation is a poor speed limit or enticing layout. You are assuming that there is no enticement to speed causing the problem. However my research is into why speeding is happening at all. This is why police pitch up at known offender sites. Any decent officer would look to correcting the problem which could be more signage or raising a limit to match the layout.

I note that your letter does not explain the legal authority for police to commence proceedings and then, without court action, dispose of it by offering courses on payment to others not a court. There can be no legal challenge once the offender has accepted the course but I would like to see someone refuse the offer and then tell a court they were only before the court because they had not stumped up cash to a third party. It's really more a media issue and indeed I and others like me, are trying to make more aware of the issue..
'The issue is that if there is profiteering in 'speeding' there is clearly no incentive to reduce it is there? One authority budgeted for 18000 speeders a year and in Wales alone two companies are getting through 6000 courses a month, some £300,000 per month. Having set all this up, the system is geared for speeders instead of having none. '

RD.'The Speed Awareness Workshops have been well received by members of the public and feedback indicates that they have the right level of information and support to help them from committing similar offences in the future.  The Prime Minister stated that he wanted education above prosecution and that is what is provided nationally.'  

KP 'Yes of course those in a noose will tell you all sorts of things but the courses do not tell the truth about speeding. Added to that, ironically, ACPO only offers them to those who made a 'mistake' so clearly already know what they should be trying to do. The mad drivers don't get the offer. Had you asked them: 'Would you prefer not to have got a ticket unfairly at all and especially for profit, what would their answer be?' 

KP. 'Hi Richard I have just read this from your response to me: "I have read the 'links' you provided and consider your attack on individuals in the Road Safety Partnership to be unprofessional and not worthy of further comment....."

It should concern you that there is nothing in those links that are incorrect, unfair comment or false. 

In this life and death issue, you seem more protective of your officials than for genuine road safety. Do you imagine that I confront a very powerful industry, including police, without considering libel risks when I publish? I am doing this voluntarily at my own cost for the community but I shouldn't need to. If there is something incorrect I will change it but as it stands, unless a libel court says I am wrong, then you really do have problems to deal with. At the moment the law says I am able to say these things that you are trying to deny. But isn't it worrying that when an independent expert speaks up against this massive machine, attempts are made to marginalise him among politicians and the media?' 

Are you elected for the vested interests and profiteers or the people who all depend on drivers?

Councillor Davies and his road safety partnership have blocked themselves from our twitter account @EastMidsDrivers .Clearly only interested in  hearing sycophantic agreement and applause . On any basis wouldn't you think they would follow a local driver's and road safety group instead of putting their paws over their eyes? 

Richard Davies is a Conservative councillor in Grantham. We all depend on drivers so do think of that at the next elections.

What is it about so many councillors? They seem to only appreciate dealing with people of less or no more wit than theirs. That being a councillor makes them a font of all knowledge? In road safety, that's serious. 

Friday, 18 July 2014

So for cyclists, even drivel pays off on a select committee

See our original report of the Transport Select Committee (Here is what the committee listened to.) that has just decided to impose even more cycling on the community and charge us all £10 a head per annum to do so.
Chris Boardman who sells bikes

Not 3 not five and not even 7 but exactly the £10 Chris Boardman demanded no less.

Don't tell drivers that politicians are treating them fairly when they can suck up to a tiny minority that no-one needs at the expense of essential infrastructure.  

news/boardman-bikes-launch-new-sub- £500 bike.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Road's are no places for eccentrics, F1, racing and fundraising

The inspiration for this tweet is the London Evening Standard story about Alex Brooke-Turner of Streatham London who, having been paralyzed in a cycle accident three years ago, has now taken to an even more dangerous form of cycling, the low, horizontal tricycle. See the story here

Now I admire this young man's courage and applaud his fight and am desperately sorry for his injuries and the state he has been left in, and even more impressed that he intends to raise money for charity but who on Earth are his advisers? Is it really necessary to raise charity in the middle of major essential infrastructure? How about a charity five a side in the road or pitch up with a tombola stand in the middle of a busy street?

For a start, these very low, small profile machines are much harder to see than the full trunk of a cyclist. No chance of seeing them through the windscreen of the vehicle you are following and so wondering why its down to a crawl. It's bad enough being reduced from a potential 60 MPH to a 10 MPH at the best of times and when you know why, but not knowing the cause is bound to cause frustration with the driver in front and worse an overtake attempt that's not based on the real hazard. If these machines were anything other than eccentric, wouldn't most cyclists be using them? Let's see the Emperor has no clothes on. These machines are a danger to their users, and a massive liability on infrastructure. Roads are no places for eccentrics and
attention seekers and that's exactly what most of these users are.

But while talking road use, no the majority of UK's drivers, most of whom have no interest in any kind of road race, whether running, cycling, or F1 racing cars either, actually don't want their roads closed for any kind of race at all. We could race bikes on airport runways and raise charity on them. We could include railway lines on cross country sections for runners couldn't we? But we would never dream of causing these parts of our infrastructure such inconvenience would we? So why do politicians think that any part of UK's vital infrastructure is a good place to hold races and charity events? Especially something so hazardous as young Alex's idea of doing it. Sensible answers on a postcard please

Monday, 14 July 2014

If you can't take the heat Vanessa, leave our Twitter alone.

A Troll
Oh dear. What a hoo ha from Vanessa Pheltz about a few troll nasties on her Twitter account.

Now she and the Daily Express are demanding, yes demanding that there be an emergency whinge button that any of us may press when we are offended by someone else on Twitter and think they are having a go at us or picking on us.  This will cause Twitter or FB to immediately investigate each case and then bar the offender for life.

As a person who has far more of my share of anti driver, anti road safety, pro cycling and Lycra clad trolls of my own - there are actually three parody Twitter accounts for me last time I counted- I can certainly vouch for genuine hatred and bile directed at me, just for being pro driver which translates to anti cyclist in some eyes.

Now bearing in mind that Vanessa is a top journalist and seems to be on our TVs far too much, she had stuck her head above the parapet, after the sentencing of that horrid man Rolph Harris, added her name to the list of those now falling out of every nook and cranny of woodwork, to claim that she was one of his victims. Well perhaps, had she spoken up at the time instead of thinking of her career, there may have been less victims but hey ho. So now, being on Twitter, she was a victim of 'Vile hatred' & 'misogyny' on Twitter.  Samples she gives are ' If Rolph actually did grope Vanessa instead of being incarcerated he should be sectioned' That's humour Vanessa; albeit at your expense. Then 'VF claims Harris groped her; surely he has standards' That's humour too Vanessa. And 'RH groped VF? Really does someone need publicity?' A fair observation and question and all of them very mild too. Come on Vanessa, you're a big girl and can't surely think you are loved by all. I have always wondered what your talent is and why I have you foisted on my life so I expect that this dislike of you may well outstrip your popularity. Don't forget we are all paying for your five star life that's in ours far too much so don't be so sensitive about a few apt barbs and shots at you. My work is totally voluntary and at my own expense, and the language directed at me makes your examples seem like a church morning service.

But I regard all this Twitter activity about me as a measure of success. I am really getting my messages out there and the fools are spreading it further too so I love it. When I'm inundated with successful loan applications I haven't made, then I know lots of people don't like what I'm doing because they are the very people I am putting the spotlight on. The profiteers, the ideologists, and the vested interests of bogus road safety.

The problem with the Daily Express and Vanessa Feltz idea is that the very same trolls will push the 'shut down' button on Vanessa and people just like me so who is supposed to adjudicate on these millions of falsely and maliciously generated cases? It's an impossible task. There is a block account option Vanessa so why didn't your paid assistants - surely you don't have time to scour all of your incoming mails and tweets yourself- just block them? Why did they even tell you about them if you are so sensitive that you are now demanding the effective closure of a wonderful medium? Not another publicity stunt Vanessa surely?

You need to have a thick skin for Twitter but if not and your skin is too soft and pinky, just stay off Twitter. You didn't need to be on Twitter VF and most of us wouldn't have missed you anyway..

Friday, 4 July 2014

Why speeding happens.

The police and the authorities, to justify their 'speeding' profiteering, must pretend that all speeding is intentional. If not so, then there has to be a problem at the site and that is usually incorrect setting of speed limits or a deceiving layout problem. 

But when there is a very high generation of speeding offenders surely that is evidence that the system is failing isn't it? If cameras are generating many thousand of offenders then that camera is a failure isn't it? But all this is covered elsewhere on Drivers' Union web site. Suffice to say prosecuting people maybe a profitable game for police and local authorities but not if on the wrong end of it. 

How many people do you know who deliberately go out to speed? To break any law? I don't know any do you? So the rationale of the police and the authorities is completely blown then!

If there were thousands of accidents, death and injury at one site, would the authorities just ignore it and take pictures or find out what's happening and correct it? Well then there is no excuse for their mercenary attitude towards speeding prosecution either.

But apart from faulty layouts and or limits, there is another very good reason why people inadvertently speed or miss signs.

On any drive, drivers are literally making thousands of decisions most of which are subconscious. We don't actually think of increasing accelerator pressure or decreasing it with every little incline. The car drives itself round bends by means of a series subconscious adjustments and the same with brake application too.What the driver is doing first and foremost, as all experts would wish them to do, is driving to the road and through their windscreen. So it is the road that is governing much of their decision making process. If a road deceives drivers in that little extra squeeze on a pedal, that will be reflected in 'speeding' numbers and so needs remedy. Thus a speed limit, and more especially, speed limit signs are nowhere near the top of the priority list among the many thousands of infinite decisions a driver must make on a drive. The fact is they are human and get things wrong all the time.

Society should be making a greater effort to assist them with their decisions by reminders, correctly set limits, and in every respect try to avoid prosecution for human error.   .  

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

So who is Road Safety GB Ltd ?

As a follow up to the story about the insatiable PACTS and '1700 road deaths is not good enough' story. See my comments here. I decided to look into Road Safety GB Ltd, the originators of my story, to find out what and who they are.

Registered as yet another road safety charity -how many can society afford? With all these charities we could save more than 1700 people with their tax free incomes surely?- they are also a limited company.

Always one to be fair, I immediately announced myself and my voluntary road safety expertise to offer my services if they were interested in not for profit, not for vested interest, not for ideologically based road safety and unnecessary driver prosecution and over-slowing. Fair aims surely? Nick Rawlings, their magazine editor apparently and RSGB, from these emails, are clearly partial to non experts, with vested interests and other agendas in road safety  You may well admire their web site, Here Very smart and impressive but more of that later.No doubt the charity claims for the advertising and web maintenance and design from its funds.

I was asking Nick what is the expertise of all the officials they list, most of them council officers, and what are their CVs in road safety, driving and prosecution? Do look up your very own local officer. What £40 grand at least each for these important posts?  I asked Nick what his background was and also that of the secretary of the company, Judith Billingham, who I noted was a director of The Association of Bikeability Schemes (Tabs) and a Wiltshire Council Official.

But what you will see was a simple and straight forward question about RSGB's genuine road safety aims and from the off I ask them: 'Is your group for genuine road safety without the unnecessary prosecution of perfectly safe drivers and without the unnecessary unscientific slowing of a vital UK infrastructure?'

Nick avoided that question.

I found that very worrying. Especially as if you look at their site, since 2000 there has been a regular turnover of council officers from various authorities sitting in their Chairman's chair. So could it be that from 2000 to date, local policy is being influenced by RSGB? 

The 'charity' charges a minimum of £100 + Vat per annum to advertise wares on their directory and these include speed gun, speed camera and breathalyser suppliers and black boxes to report on driver's to insurance companies. It also hosts the big annual bun fight the Road Safety Conference at at least £295 +Vat. where the fat cats of road safety will indulge themselves while elsewhere 17000 a day will die of starvation. see 

These bashes, where our officials will go 5 star expenses paid, are not just confined to this one as The Road Safety Industry loves its lucrative and costly bun fight where they, well fed, libated and remunerated, will piously listen to theorists and guessers but no altruistic road safety experts and honesty are ever invited.

The registered address of RSGB, would you believe it, appears to be Nick's home in Wortham near Diss. Look at it on Google satellite view it's a place to die for. This is also the registered address of a company called Stennik Advertising Ltd, incorporated 11th November 1983 and when you visit their web site, Low and behold they make websites. So can we assume that RSGB's brilliant and expensive site is one of Nick's? But there's more than that. Nick clearly has understood the earning potential of road safety, as he actually sells ready made road safety packages. 
  Well well. We are now writing to all the listed officials in the councils to find out what their CV in road safety and driving is. We are posting (unidentified sender) responses here.
Now tell me there's no amateurism and profiteering in road safety.

I have now had a four page letter from no less than the Chairman of RSGB. See it and my reply here.  Very impressive and in complete contrast to being dissed by Nick. However it will mean little if local road safety continues to be based on false mantras, profit and amateur assumptions as it is now. Over to you RSGB.