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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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Sunday, 30 November 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

91 in a 30 zone? Is dangerous driving.

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

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

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

Here is my letter: 

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

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, 24 November 2014

A defence to speeding?

Dear Mr xxxx,

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

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

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

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

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

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


Keith Peat.  

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

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

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

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

Will this committee fail to ask obvious and relevant questions as they did here?

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

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

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

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As for BRAKE, just Start with this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 17 November 2014

Local Transport Today: Yours truly on speed cameras.

Speed cameras are still used as revenue-raising devices

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, 14 November 2014

Speed. BRAKE does it again

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Yellow Lines are like speed limits

Yellow lines have much in common with local speed limits.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

A breakthrough for road safety and drivers?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, 8 November 2014

BRAKE miss the obvious to blame a driver

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For BRAKE See Follow the money

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

MPs Scream for longer driver jail again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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