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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Saturday, 24 November 2012

Edmund King: 'Genuine road safety is a cracked record.'

Edmund King, ( Mouthpiece of the AA) one time CEO of the RACFoundation who tend to be ideologically opposed to drivers and all things driving, has been busy promoting speed cameras, speeding fines and speed awareness courses even though AA depend on drivers for the largest part of their income.

Not one to miss an oportunity to jump on the latest populist bandwagon, Edmund has been promoting cycling -AA sell bike acessories too- of late. Not more than he promotes himself it has to be said.

An unashamed hero of a Twitter Account styled @CycleHatred, where the owners and followers accumulate as many examples of, what they believe are genuine expressions of hatred toward them from alleged drivers. Not one to allow peace to break out, Edmund weighed in with a talk about 'Two Tribes' supposedly to bring, in his words, 'harmony' between the two groups. However how such a public figure as Edmund thinks that such a topic doesn't actually foment problems is either because he is very stupid or very mischevous. Whether Edmund was silly enough to cite any of the examples furnished by @CycleHatred for his speach we do not know. But it had occurred to us that many of these could be bogus, some from the nastier cyclists themselves and in any case, given that there are 30 million drivers out there and there isn't actually any evidence that the threats are any more than a wind up because drivers simply are not aiming their vehicles at cyclists. All this shows that, anyone serious about road safety should pay no heed to Edmund and his Spandex Warriors of @CycleHatred. 

Edmund has also been attacking Admiral Insurance, for quite rightly, not making a premium allowance for speeding drivers who elect to use the dubiously legal and coercive option of Speed Awareness Courses.
But fails to mention that, in his support for speed cameras, he and AA, who run these courses, have a vested interest in them. So we challenged Edmund King on this and also warned that he has no expertise in road safety or driving either. We said: 'Speed awareness courses run for profit by private companies on the basis of poor science and wrongful ticketing' Edmunds response? 'Barking'. No denial there then!

'Can politicians learn that @AAPresident is no expert in road safety and driving and has vested interests'.  Edmund avoids the statement with: ' You are like a scratched record and a very boring one at that' So no denial to that either then. Apart from changing the subject with peurile remarks saying more about Edmund than he would like, how about the serious road safety matters that he isn't denying and seems to think is acceptable?

Edmund and the AA are an example of the big guns we are up against in our quest for genuine road safety instead of profit based road safety. By making us an adversary, he discloses that he is also adverse to genuine altruistic road safety and a supporter of the unnecessary prosecution of many thousands of perfectly safe drivers too.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

War on drivers continues say Telegraph

In this story about speed camreras being rolled out again I am quoted, See it here But I felt that I ought to post the following comment on their forum: Unfortunately I have been misquoted in this probably because David doubted what I actually told him. So, to assist this debate, some clarification. I do explain this fully at Understanding Speed at But basically, to speed, that is simply to exceed any number on a pole, cannot physically result in anything, including an accident; any more than not to speed wont do so either. Speed accidents are always caused by driving too fast, mostly actually below the limits which is when most accidents happen. Even in the worst type, the head on multi casualty collision, it is often the case that neither driver was speeding. So what I actually told the Telegraph was that these cameras do not see one single accident cause. In fact they are about the prevention of thousands of imaginary accidents that weren’t about to happen by prosecuting thousands of perfectly safe drivers who weren’t about to have one anyway. The courses he mentions are run for profit by private companies who's tutors are not experts or specialists and who do not tell their victims that they are there because 1) The speed limit was probably incorrect. 2) The cameras cannot see accident causes & 3) Speeding cannot cause accidents. So apart from the students being coerced for profit with doubtful legality, these courses are entirely fraudulent too.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Simon rammed twice. Unlucky?

Top paraplegic cyclist Simon Richardson, (Pictured)  a victim of being rammed by a driver in 2001, received further crippling injuries when he was rammed again by another driver who had been drinking and made off without stopping. The driver has just been handed down an 18 month jail sentence. 

Unlucky? Yes of course in terms of bad luck but not that unlucky if only in the context the numbers and likelyhood game.  It really is a no brainer. If you look at the long list of high rollers and public figures who's lives have been ended prematurely in one sort of crash or another, it is actually do do with the more they do something, like use light aircraft or helicopters and fast cars, the more chance they have, compared to ordinary folk, to die that way. Keep climbing mountains and there is more chance of falling off one.

So Simon has tended to be evidence that the more one cycles amongst all sorts of diverse characters operating fast, heavy essential machines, trusting them all and a peculiar belief that one's right not to be rammed and crippled will ensure that one wont be, is, to say the least, foolish and living in a Cloud Cuckoo Land.  What on Earth made Simon think that, having happened to him once, it wouldn't happen again?

What we must all take from this is obvious. No it wasn't just a terrible coincidence and bad luck at all.  We all chance our arm when we cycle on busy roads. The more we do it so the chance of being in a bad accident goes up and so will cycling casualties too.

Can Simon, after all he's been through, say 'cycling on the road is safe' for anyone? He is, thankfully, living proof that it is far from it.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Dual Danger & HGVs

The knotty issue of slow creeping overtakes on dual carriageways is being addressed by this petition.
'Heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) are able to use the outside lane of dual carriageways to pass others. They occupy the outside lane for long periods This creates high speed bunching of vehicles. Frequently pulling into another driver's safety gap they cause sudden high speed braking. Returning to the slow lane, another commences the same manoeuvre. The outside lane can often be thus occupied for long distances with HGV drivers not assisting the other as required by the Highway Code. The resulting bunching & tailgating, with safety gaps suddenly taken by HGVs, is highly dangerous and will have been the indirect cause of many high speed accidents even if not officially realised. A dangerous scenario involving many drivers over the course of a day it would be a simple matter to ban HGVs from the outside lane of dual carriageways to preserve life by reducing sudden braking, protecting safety gaps, and considerably reducing high speed bunching.' 

Ok there are faults in it but all proposals start off with faults and it is for parliament to iron those out, add caveats and clauses. Don't forget the programme only allows very few words to construct the petition. What we must not do is to ignore a serious issue over a few words. This petition draws attention to the problem and that is a start. There are already laws to deal with this type of driver under Sec 2 & 3 RTA, however a specific offence need not be so draconian. Either way this has been happening for too long. Without doubt it would've caused or been a factor in many bad accidents but again the Stats 19 form lets road safety down in this. Do add your name to the petition. Sign here

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Cyclists say 20 zones are 'too long'

Am I missing something here? Media blamed for misleading 20 zone statements But the 24% casualty increase was on roads that were previously 30 or more and the increase is at 20MPH. They are saying that this increase was after they became 20 zones. So how does claiming, the extent of 20 zones is responsible for the figures, help their case then? Surely the longer these routes, the less cycling casualties if 20 zones work? Are they saying there is too much 20 zone and that is the problem? Reduce them and the casualties will go down again then? Seems like some gross lack of logic and sillyness going on here to me. So silly in fact we are now able to say that top cyclists agree with us; the more 20 zones the more accidents! Oh, and the increase of cyclists has nothing to do with it then or that 20 zones are dangerous too? And yes, in BUA 20 zones, pedestrian casualties will go up too for the same reasons. **************** But I predicted publicly that 20 Zones will cause accidents and casualties before 2011. You can see it at 20 limits under speed limits. Here I explained in detail why too. Of course cycling casualties will rise the more that do it. I also predicted that prior to 2011. How can cycling promoters deny that with any credibility? ************** We are talking about mixing, mingling, competing & sharing the same track as loads of heavy fast moving essential machinery operated by any diverse character here. Is that wise on a personal basis? How do we know that all these will safely steer past us? Can anyone seriously and sincerely recommend and advise anyone, they love, to cycle in today's carriagways? Having done so, when they are cabbaged or killed, does the blame game then kick in to mitigate it all and blame everyone but the reality of their insistance to provide the scenario for it then? Seems like it to me.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Wiggins is bad for road safety.

In the light of Bradley Wiggins, Steve Hoy's and others wonderful cycling successes, there has been much comment about the call for an increase in cycling use on our roads and to encourage more people of all ages to take part and do so. ************* Of course cycling is healthy from an excercise point of view, it saves money and is a good sport. However what politicians should not do is to promote and exploit cycling and cyclists merely to solve massive economic issues at the expense of major essential infrastructure on which economics is based whether rail, air, shipping or road transport. Politicians would never condone cycling along railway lines or airport runways, so what makes it Ok to encourage people of all ages to mingle, obstruct and compete with heavy, fast moving essential machinery which is what cycling is. It is no coincidence that since politicians have been doing that, and since cycling has increased, 2011 saw the biggest rise in cycling tragedies and casualties which had it not been for those, 2011 would have continued the downward trend that has been occuring since about 2008. Has anyone made the connection? Do politicians feel guilty? No. Like the cyclists, they will blame drivers. ********* This is 2012 not 1912. There are now about 38 million vehicles and drivers on our roads and the economy depends on all of them. The basics of our life like food and water depend on all drivers. Commerce depends on all drivers. Communities and public transport and the NHS could not exist without the private driver. Have you noticed the staff car parks at our hospitals? The massive retail parks and shopping centres with their car parks? How does the bus & train driver get to his bus & train in the small hours without a car or motorbike? What about doctors and nurses and poice officers? Or indeed the water supply workers too. The fact is that the economy would collapse and many would die very rapidly without motor transport so it must not be curtailed or impeded for any excuse or reason. Yet the way things are going, road transport will be slowed to a point where it will be illegal to drive faster than a cyclist. Don't politicians understand that to over slow road transport costs about £3 billion per year per 1 MPH? Currently about £30 billion a year? How many lives could be saved with that sort of money? ********* Although cyclists accuse drivers of all road ills, that fact remains that without them most of us would die and they are keeping far more alive than are killed from all reasons, not just drivers, on our roads. Even their bikes were delivered by road transport, often white van man too! ************* The cyclists are very vocal against drivers yet they too would not survive without them. What they cannot deny is that, to place yourself on the tracks and in competition with very heavy, fast moving essential machinery is bound to end in tears and under any other circumstances would be crazy. ********* The following letter in response to the typically silly comments of two cyclists sums up what this is all about: **************** I am very disappointed that, in response to a serious road safety matter, you have published John Taylor’s sarcastic and fraudulent response. Avoiding my point, about cyclists in the carriageway, he focuses on pedestrians instead. The reason I did not mention this ‘large group’ is simply that, unlike cyclists, they do not impede motor transport, are instructed to cross the road smartly having checked both ways and on rural roads advised to walk facing oncoming traffic and wisely step to one side if verges are not available. Cyclists on the other hand compete with road traffic, often impede it and slow it and are particularly vulnerable just after a bend when the driver is suddenly faced with them. The serious point I make, and one Mr Taylor avoids is, is it safe to encourage, in this day and age, humans to mingle with heavy fast moving essential machinery and would we tolerate that under any other circumstances? If it were a fair ground ride it would be banned. This brings me to Mr Geoff Jone’s point about fossil fuels, road death etc. The fact is that, with or without his bike, none of us could survive now without all forms of motorised transport. The economy would collapse over- night and we would all start to die very rapidly from lack of basic essentials, including food and water. Public transport would stop and so would the NHS. Yet road death from all causes, not just by driver, is lower than from accidents in the home and five times lower than from NHS failure. Motor transport keeps us all alive. If Mr Jones and all the rest of us cyclists gave up, it would hardly be noticed. So contrary to common perception, motor transport provides a quality of life and essentials and in doing so, keeps far more alive than it kills. Since politicians, for political reasons, have been busy promoting cycling to pretend that is a viable alternative to cars, cycle road death has risen in 2011. Hasn’t anyone made the connection? Do the politicians feel at all guilty? It matters not who is to blame when a young child is turned into a cabbage or when knocking on the Pearly Gates St Peter says ‘Come in my son it wasn’t your fault’. The issue is simple. Placing one’s body on the track of heavy moving machinery cannot be a bright idea can it? Keith Peat. Now published.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Thursday, 1 March 2012

New Police Commissioners. Drivers don't miss your chance.

Later this year you will be invited to vote for a local Police Commissioner. Don't let your massive 30 million votes miss the chance to make 2012 Driver's Year.

Believe it or not your car, and driving is one of the most important and valuable assets in your life so why not make them a priority when it comes to voting?

At the moment the anti driver anti car owner is in the ascendancy and drivers are being treated as the enemy of the state; not the valuable and struggling resource they really are.

Without you drivers, and your vehicles, the economy would collapse over-night and very soon, thousand would start to die from lack of basic needs. That is how important we drivers are to the community.

At the moment politicians are able to treat drivers as 2nd rate citizens. Why? Because drivers do not use their considerable power to ensure they get the priority they deserve. You can start to change all that.

Let's make sure that every Police Commissioner is pro driver. He will demand no more prosecutions of perfectly safe drivers based on flawed and profitable road safety. That speed limits have to be properly and justifiably set before police point their cameras and those which clearly show that they have been set too low, will not be supported by prosecutions until they have been corrected. He will expect police to only arrest drivers for prosecution if there is any doubt as to their identity otherwise proceed by summons; especially after a driver has been involved in the trauma of an accident. He will expect police to focus more on anti social crimes, like violent conduct, theft, burglary, robbery, criminal damage and street crime. 

That is the kind of policing and Police Commissioner most of the community would support. Now is your chance to make it happen. 

Drivers. Don't waste this vote; Make 2012 the Year of the Driver.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

The link with police the Prince, speeding & the money makers.

From Local Transport Today. 5th January 2012
Quotes West Midlands joint committee:
'Speed awareness courses are expected to be attended by 18,000 motorists. A percentage of the £80 course fee is retained by the police, generating an income of £650,000 for camera operations. The rest goes to the course provider, TTC2000. It has offered the police a £5 per client rebate, which would raise a further £90,000. The HA contributes £82,000 to camera costs.' 

We and Driver's Protest Union, have now established links with private profit, police, prosecutions, Speed Awareness courses and indeed speed limiting. We have written to Sir Peter Tapsell and copied other MPs the following letter:   Dear Sir Peter,

First may I wish you and yours the very best for the New Year.

As you know, I am very concerned about genuine, altruistic, non-profitable road safety and the unnecessary prosecution, conviction and disruption to perfectly safe drivers.

Almost daily I find a new vested interest company being promoted by the authorities, awarded by royalty, having major input on policy and indeed prosecution. The following is a list but the latest, a company called TTC Group,  is one where I find a direct link between its lucrative activities and PACTS, a private parliamentary lobby group with no road safety or driving expertise and which itself is loaded with vested interest companies in prosecution and profit, Brake an anti driver lobby group in the guise of a road safety charity, also with no expertise in road safety or driving either and Prince Michael's International Road Safety Awards scheme also loaded with vested interest road safety companies or groups.

TTC2000 have been running lucrative speed awareness courses for which the police and local speed camera partnerships get a cut of the income. So the prosecutions themselves are directly linked to vested interest companies who gain from cameras, speed limits, prosecution, points and indeed anti driver/car lobby groups too. PACTS is pro public transport yet seeks to advise Parliament on road safety and prosecution of private drivers.

So far, no Speed Awareness provider, like TTC2000, can tell me if their coerced students are told that 'speeding' cannot cause accidents, that speed cameras cannot see accident causes, and that the limit that got them there is totally arbitrary, without science or expertise. I have asked the driving expertise of their instructors to no avail. I have asked what profit there is? More seriously I have been unable to ascertain on what authority police can decide not to prosecute where an offence is disclosed on payment of money to a Ltd company? I don't know if you will have any better luck with such questions.  

I have already noted a company called RSS Ltd, set up by ACPO Ltd See ACPO's little helpers to make defence of speeding cases very expensive to deter drivers from defending themselves. This company provide alleged camera experts for evidence at court and are retained at cost by local forces specifically for that purpose. The deterrent of defending is the high expenses cost they will claim in the event of a proven case on top of their annual retainer by the local force. Do the police pay such firms for burglars, murderers, thieves & robbers? No!

I have recently raised with you Police a company who is providing spying equipment, at great profit, in case a driver may do something wrong. See penalise drivers for profit Amazingly, to my query as to if the Home Office & police are giving this activity their blessing, Nick Herbert of the Home office has so far endorsed this profitable spying on members of the public and ACPO Ltd have ignored my approaches on the subject. I currently await a reply from Nick Herbert to a follow up on this matter and an assurance that this spying will not be encouraged; especially as such conduct could be deemed likely to cause a breach of the peace.

Then there is the Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards scheme which seems to be this lucrative industry awarding itself, and indeed the number of OBE & MBEs to go with it all. See Prince Michael & Speed Camera Manufacturers. The scheme, financed by a speed camera manufacturer no less, and indeed TTC2000, who make money from speeding convictions and was also awarded, show that even Royalty has got itself involved with driver prosecution which by any standards is not at all desirable. Added to which the dimension that poor policy in road safety, based on profit will actually result in accidents ,injury and death. My concerns expressed to The Prince's Office about this unseemly connection with driver prosecution have so far been ignored.

When joint West Midlands Councils base their safety budget on the amount of Speed Awareness  they can expect, 18000 at £80 per hit, a projected business plan for £1.44 million pounds of which the police will get £650,000 and TTC2000 £790,000, then this is blatant planning not to stop 18000 speeders at all but a hope of getting at least that many. So this is why speed limits have been getting lowered all over the country. To create more speeders. Please do look at my site. under the Speed Cameras label 'The speeding money go round' Surely the object should be nil 'speeders' not a desire for at least 18000 caught and offered a course!

So what I have established is not only a link in road safety profiteering but that the authorities and especially the police, are thus linked to anti driver and private car lobby groups.

It's about time PACTS itself  is not allowed to influence road safety policy at all. Not only have I identified vested interests in it, like TTC but most of it's comment on road safety and driving is incorrect because of vested interest.

We need to look at the whole road safety industry, who advises ministers and and indeed who is behind what policy and what their vested interests are.

So for example: AA  run Speed Awareness Courses and indeed profit from speeding points via their Insurance Wing too. They should have no input directly or indirectly via PACTS or any such means on Parliament in this important matter then should they? See AA's Edmund King in action.

Until vested interest, expertise and motive is addressed, PACTS and other alleged road safety groups should not be given the platform they are being given currently in a life and death matter that involves prosecutions too.
Yours sincerely,

Note: There is more death from accidents in the home than from any cause on the roads. So why aren't all these pious life savers concerned about that? No money in it?

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Lincolnshire Partnership prove it's profit before safety

Have announced a trial of awareness courses for mobile phone use whilst driving.

'It will be like the Speed Awareness Courses for speeders they say' Full story here

This is utter dangerous rubbish. For a start it is proven that 'speeding' cannot cause accidents and that speed cameras do not see accident causes either. The Speed Awareness Courses are only available to those who have exceeded the limits marginally and 'by mistake' according to the ACPO guidelines. The drivers who drive dangerously and can cause accidents are not included. Most speeding is caused by the entrapment effect of a poor road layout, faulty speed limits or both.

Using a phone, whilst driving, definitely is an accident cause and is also deliberate where there is no mistake involved at all. The fact is that failure to apply one's mind solely to the drive and to engage in other issues with some-one who is not in the vehicle and totally unaware of the driver's circumstances is highly dangerous and undesirable. 

So clearly The Lincolnshire 'Road Safety' Partnership either have no idea about what does cause accidents, or more likely see the profit from these lucrative courses as above road safety.

We call upon them to cancel this trial.

In both cases we are not sure of the legality of these awareness courses since when offences are disclosed to the police under what law are they able to offer the option not to proceed on payment of money?

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Satnav MOTs on their way!

The latest scam to screw the driver is to invent an excuse to tax and legislate satellite navigation systems.

The government is currently looking at a control that insists that Sat Nav manufacturers must update the computer memories to take into account local authority road changes and layouts.

Why? A clue can be gathered from Radio 5 Live's approach to me that 'all these drivers that are experiencing problems from sat navs'  
What problems? What drivers? I have had mine for about ten years and it's never caused me a problem! Has yours?

Let me say, as a top ex police driver, I can testify that sat navs make drivers far better for the simple reason that there is nothing worse than being lost in a city, not knowing what lane to take or where the next turn may be, to unnerve even the best of drivers. It is self evident that when you know where you are and where you are going you are far better than when you don't. And no. Road maps do not help in the centre of town, one way systems and they do not get you to the very door and premises that you are looking for like Sat Nav does. Abroad, when on the wrong side of the road already, the last thing a driver needs is to be concentrating on foreign road signs. How can you beat your very own English speaking guide to not only tell you where to go next but to warn you in good time about it too?

They are simple to operate and anyone who cannot, or allows them to lead them astray, are too simple to be let loose on the road anyway. Even then, that the stories of these fool's escapades make the news is really an indication of how rare these events really are. What we don't hear, because no stats are kept of it, is how many thousands of accidents are actually saved by Sat Nav every year. So what is this really all about then?

Follow the money folks. Garmin, say, will then have to update all their Sat Navs, before sale, at what cost? How much is local Government going to cream off for this information? And who will pay for the end product?............................Yep the poor old  hard pressed over taxed UK driver again. But it won't end there will it? Since they will go out of date almost immediately then the next logical progression will be a SatNav MOT certificate yearly otherwise what will be the point?

Watch this space! You heard it here first.  This is why 2012 must be the stop the war on the driver year. And you can start by signing this simple petition. Stop the war on the driver.

Two MPs have now taken this up with ministers.