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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.


  1. I would be wondering how many of these 40% of kids had their collision or near miss in or near a school at term time? School holidays my drives are quicker and safer. No ridiculous double parking, fewer stupid maneuvers, and much more situational awareness beyond the arguments in the back seat.

    The biggest danger to kids on the roads at term time is the school run. I cannot realistically imagine many conurbations where it is more than a mile each way to school, thus parents have an opportunity to save their lives three times over. They can teach them road safety, they can cut down on the amount of traffic on the roads at these times, and they can provide a cure for the oft mentioned child obesity problem

  2. Only disagreement I have is that obesity is more about diet, computer games, no outside play and no playing fields. Distance isn't relevant. It's about the ability and or the time parents have to collect kids and trying to juggle time. It's also a worry just letting kids make their own way home too for various reasons.

  3. I agree as to obesity having many potential causes, I do not think that means that removing one potential cause or adding a twice a day exercise is a bad thing.

    As for many reasons behind not letting the kids walk alone, when doing the school walk myself with my own, the most popular reason by far is "the amount of traffic", without people realising they are part of that amount of traffic. The next most prevelant reason was "stranger danger", another out of proportion scaremongering myth to go with "speed kills" and "page 3 creates rapists". These also apply to the lack of outside play cause for obesity.

    On the time issue, I used to live at the very edge of my kids school catchment area, We could still walk to school faster than most folks could drive. We used to leave ten minutes after our neighbour in their car, and still arrived about the same time, or earlier.

    I appreciate there is a difference between living in a major city, and a village of 6 houses, one pub and a church, but I did specifically speak of major conurbations.

    A school near my friends had a new Zebra crossing put in for child safety, as the fairly narrow road often had cars parked on it, the zig-zags for the new crossing have merely had the effect of creating a drop-off zone for the parents to park for 10 mins whilst they wait for school to end with a few less metres of double parking. This is Northwood Hills in London, I suspect nobody lives that far away they need a Nissan Micra, let alone Range Rover Sport or BMW X5 to drop the sprogs off

    Parents are the problem.