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Friday, 18 March 2016

Transport Select Committee on Law Enforcement. Summary

Transport Select Committee
Inquiry on Road Law Enforcement

Keith Peat's Submission on behalf of Drivers' Union.

  • Committee ignores scientific fact and support police lie that 'speeding' is an accident cause to be included in Fatal 4 and to be a priority in road safety at the expense of genuine killers and road safety.

We said:  Evidence ignored: (ii) An example of focusing on wrong causes can no better be demonstrated but by looking at the Fatal 4 campaign where ‘speeding’, simply to exceed a posted number which physically causes nothing, is included yet dangerous and careless driving, which undoubtedly cause death, are excluded.  Speeding however is very profitable and that is not a coincidence.

   Unfortunately the agencies themselves often prosecute for ‘speeding’ at very high speeds instead of the correct offence of dangerous driving. Rather like murder commences with assault, then ABH, then GBH first we don’t charge a murderer with assault even though it still applies, 150MPH, 80MPH over the limit, cannot still be just ‘speeding’. Were there to be a death as a result, the charge wouldn’t be death by speeding but by dangerous driving.  

  •      Committee refers to Careless Driving as a 'minor offence' to justify the fixed penalty system to be used for the first time in its history for subjective opinion. “minor” offences such as careless driving cannot be effectively detected' They say.
Can we quote them next time a driver faces jail for it?

     We said:  This was the most ill conceived idea that was introduced by the Government in sacrificing justice for police convenience and against all valid and educated advice.
      Until Fixed penalty for careless driving was introduced, FP historically had only ever been applied to totally objective and absolute acts: The car was on a yellow line, it was stationary in a box, it was driven in a bus lane, it was speeding, litter was dropped, dog poo wasn’t cleared up and so on. This was a massive step change whereby Fixed Penalty was allowed to be used subjectively and on mere opinion and for one of the most serious driving offences there is.  How on earth, if the driving was not deemed as careless driving prior to FP, does FP suddenly create the offence of careless driving? This was a step change too far. Then was added the coercive offers to accept guilt, a lesser fine and a course run for profit too. How can any of this be fair or right for drivers? FP should only be appropriate for absolute and objective conduct not subjective opinion where the right to fair trial is then under a threat of a larger penalty. That this is a feature of far lesser FP offences must be taken in the context that they are objective and absolute whereas careless driving is pure subjective opinion which should be tested at court no less..
3(ii) Courses. We have been unable to find any legal authority whereby police, having commenced a legal process, can then halt judicial process on payment of money to a third party other than a court. That many of these courses are run by limited companies makes the coercion of them even worse. We jail police officers who take money, under coercion, in lieu of due process.

  •     The Committee spends a great deal of time focusing on cycling safety and making powerful and costly recommendations to the disadvantage of freight transport and drivers generally

We said:
    Why are pedestrians linked with cyclists? Pedestrians are already historically provided for in the infrastructure where they are separated from motor traffic and the carriageway generally. When on the carriageway, although given precedence, they are also exhorted not to linger and where there is no footway, to walk opposite to traffic and move to one side if needs be. Cyclists on the other hand are sharing carriageway, with their backs to motor traffic and often impeding it. It is incredible that any genuine authority interested in people safety should miss that distinction.
4(ii) The definition of road cycling is as follows: To place oneself, off the ground on a slender frame and flimsy wheels, travelling at unnatural speed, and mixing, mingling, competing with and impeding large moving essential machinery, operated by complete strangers of varying skill and mental capacity. If it were not road cycling, most humans would never place themselves in that position. It would be totally irresponsible for any authority, no matter their cycling preferences, to fail to acknowledge that reality and attempt to mitigate it at great cost to infrastructure and indeed to cyclists.
4(iii) The fact is that there are only two classes of road user that society must have to subsist and they are pedestrians and drivers. We cannot pretend to be concerned with good road safety then impose unneeded hazards in the road in a way that would not be imposed on any other crucial infrastructure. It is appalling that the Select Committee listened to three pro cycling witnesses, (See) two with financial vested interests in their evidence and without asking ‘Why must we have cyclists?’, awarded the Cycling Lobby £650,000,000 per annum when 99% of the public know that cycling, which cannot sustain society, isn’t a viable transport mode. How can we impose such a dangerous concept on infrastructure then, having done so, talk about prosecution when it goes wrong?
  •     The Committee supports illegal voiding of due judicial process by coercing drivers to pay third parties for courses and is suggesting standardisation and formalising of these courses via parliament. 'We further recommend that the costs for diversionary courses should be standardised nationwide unless there is a clear and convincing reason not to do so, and that the Government consider legislating to ensure that this is the case, so that the public can be confident in the transparency of these courses.'

We said3(ii) Courses. We have been unable to find any legal authority whereby police, having commenced a legal process, can then halt judicial process on payment of money to a third party other than a court. That many of these courses are run by limited companies makes the coercion of them even worse. We jail police officers who take money, under coercion, in lieu of due process.
  •     The Committee wants more drivers to be prosecuted for more offences by local authorities instead of the police and is 'disappointed' that so far Government hasn't listened to them. 

We said:  This has been a disaster for drivers and a major infrastructure. All roads and streets belong to all drivers and so in reality are national. Roads and prosecution policy based on the personal and parochial aspirations of local political unqualified nimbysim is total disaster for major infrastructure. Do we run railways and air travel like this?
     A national speed limit policy based on nothing more than nimbyist parochialism is what we have now as well as blatant profiteering from unrealistic speeding, parking, bus lane and yellow box policy all of which could be amended when high volumes of offenders are clearly showing a site fault. When councils are allowing a high offender rate, they are allowing a site failure. This clearly shows that the objective is income and not compliance.  

To  The deployment of people and technology in enforcing road traffic policy.
   We said:   There is less death on the road from all causes after some 300 billion driver miles a year, than from accidents in the home, than from hanging and strangulation and even than from self harm. There are other social killers too that far exceed road death. So unless all these other killers and deaths are unimportant, the only conclusion is that road safety is a very profitable source.
      So are we talking about more expensive gadgets and people for a non issue? Is there one road safety gadget, instrument, sign, camera, meter, kiddie seat, airbag, crash helmet etc supplied at no more than cost on the purely altruistic principle of saving lives and road safety?  Before going further, let’s start clawing back all the profit from road safety and use that money to save more lives by focusing on genuine accident causes, and in the NHS, Ambulance, Fire and Rescue and police too. The Committee must start looking from outside the Road Safety and Speeding Industry bubble.

The main concerns are the move to legalise illegal courses for profit and allow police to continue to use fixed penalty for subjective opinion.

More on the Committee's false speeding statement

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