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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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Saturday, 28 February 2015

Dooring incidents

In this story about a cycling 'dooring' fatal The advice is to vehicle drivers and passengers to be more aware of cyclists when opening doors.

But surely the answer is simple?

Drivers are told to give 'at least a car's width' or '3 feet clearance when passing cyclists' See how we address this here.

But it's the cyclist's primary responsibility to protect themselves first isn't it? So why no similar rule for them? If a door is stationary during a collision with it, then all injury is due to the speed of the cyclist isn't it? So we appeal to fast cyclists to give at least a doors width when passing stationary vehicles or slow down if needing to pass too closely to stationary vehicles. A  pretty obvious precaution isn't it? 

Why is it that cyclists don't see the same rules applying to them when they pass other road users as they demand from drivers?

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Road accidents do happen.

The anti Driver Revenge Lobby insist that there is no such thing as a Road Traffic Accident. (RTA) anymore.

The police call them collisions now. (RTC) and in some cases an incident.

A recent tweeter told me there is no such thing as an accident and asked me to provide a single example of one. I could've cited loads but simply wasn't prepared to then face a long sequence of responses that all concluded that road collisions occur because a driver wasn't concentrating or driving carelessly or dangerously and so on. I simply responded: 'So when you cut your hand or hit your thumb with a hammer it's not an accident?' 

In a recent article by a cyclist-who else?- to make his case, a driving accident was actually turned into 'violent conduct'.

In The Concise Oxford Dictionary, the definition of accident includes 'Unintentional act, chance, fortune, mishap and an unforeseen course of events.' In Odham's Concise it says ' Unexpected event, unintended action, unpremeditated act and mishap'.   

So why has the word 'accident' been replaced so that, by using RTC, the police do not acknowledge that road accidents do happen and indeed nearly all collisions are in fact unintentional and thus accidents? 

The answer stems from a very controversial anti driving ex Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom who, according to Wikipedea, was known as 'The Mad Mullah of The Traffic Taliban'. He took the view that all road death should be treated as a murder and investigated as such; I have noticed how many road accidents are investigated by detectives as opposed to the uniform branch now.

It certainly hasn't dawned on the Brunstrom adherents that closing motorways and strategic roads for many hours, when the cause of an accident was pretty obvious from the start, that we actually kill more people from the knock on effects of that than from the accident in the first place. Neither does it occur to anyone that the object of this forensic examination isn't to prevent a recurrence but to either look for a culprit to prosecute or provide evidence for wealthy lawyers to pursue their actions.     

But the most obvious reason that the word 'accident' has been ditched is that police can look for a culprit from the word go. In fact, the routine arrest of drivers after an accident before anything has been established is all part of this. See our questions here

But this brings me to a legal possibility. If road traffic accidents do not officially exist, do drivers need to stop after a collision, even one causing injury? See sec 170 of the RTA 1988 on this If the police refuse to acknowledge road accidents, no-one can complain if we all ignore Sec170 then.

In this case, the coroner deemed it a tragic accident Even though the cyclist had entered a roundabout at speed and failed to give way on the roundabout. Had it been the other way round, the driver would've been facing jail. 

There is a simple answer to this. Bring back the RTA and treat all road accidents as just that until investigations prove otherwise.  Innocent until proven guilty by a court is what I am saying.

Friday, 20 February 2015

A classic cyclist's handbags at dawn.

This story about a head cam cyclist's altercation with a driver See the video here. Is a classic of why these altercations and bad reactions are occurring.

To use any instrument to remonstrate with other road users, is a misuse of the instrument. In this case a loud electronic buzzer. 

Horns are meant to simply warn of presence but all too often, especially in this country, they are used only as a form of rebuke. That's why you can drive around the UK and never hear a warning instrument unless someone does what someone else perceives to be wrong. This cyclist kicks off by shouting expletives, deemed so bad they have been muted by the publishers, and then followed by a loud buzz of rebuke. This is wrong. I implore cyclists not to start an altercation.

But studying the video let's actually see what went on. Here we have an average urban main road with frequent oncoming traffic but very little passing room. This is where, as I have already addressed the issue of safe passing, Here In short rule 163 Highway Code is totally subjective & unworkable whilst the 3 foot rule being demanded simply cannot be applied.  All this does is convince cyclists that they can demand what they think is a safe passing distance. That is what's happened here. This cyclist is now trying to be a driver. He has decided the pass was too close. His whole idea is that he should impose his speed on other road users and in effect, dare them to pass him. Then when they do, he remonstrates forcefully.

Having looked at this video, the passing speed is very low and this is something I have already raised in the earlier Blog. Had this pass been fast then yes, it would be too close. So clearly, at such a low speed difference, as in this case, there would be no damage or injury caused by impact speed of about one or two MPH. The injury, damage or even death would be caused by the speed of the cyclist if he were nudged off his bike and not the passing speed of the driver.  

One could argue then that the cyclist's speed not only contributed to the scenario but would most certainly be a factor in the outcome had their been a collision of the two.

His reaction, to what was a predictable occurrence on that road at the time, eventually caused the outraged driver to stop to find out what all the rebuke was about. Quite correctly he left it at: 'Take my number' and nothing more than that. Whether the pass was too close is a matter of subjective opinion and since nothing happened at all, it tends to vindicate the driver and not the cyclist.

Cycling speed is always going to be a factor in these altercations as is who started the abuse of another road user.   

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Now 12.4 MPH Limits? Bring back the red flag.

Ok it's Ireland but this story includes all the irrational and poor reasons on which to base road safety policy.

We kick off with the raw emotion of a mother who's lost a child. But since when did bereavement create objective road safety and driving experts? Never to my knowledge. Don't media and journalists think that road safety and driver prosecution is far too important and serious to mess around with emotive presentation? I deplore it. 

Jake's Law, as it is being cited, is about a six year old, Jake Brennan who had been killed by a car after playing in the street. Well I have to say that streets, are actually highways to carry essential infrastructure, just like railway lines and airport runways Mrs Brennan. They are certainly not the best place for kiddies to play at all. Why on earth was a six year old in the road anyway? 

What's the matter with the politicians of Sinn Fein? Don't they think that Ireland would fold completely without its drivers and driving? Don't they think there is a massive cost to over-slowing essential infrastructure to the point where more lives would be saved if that money was in their health services and rescue services? Road policy must be cost effective. No sense saving one on the streets and then killing ten from poor health services is there? 

SF's Deputy Mary Lou McDonald, 
Mary Lou McDonald
 in pushing Jake's Law, has had to use 15 years of casualties to come up with 262 kids killed on Ireland's roads. But after how many billions of driver miles is that Ms McDonald? She clearly hasn't considered that all of Ireland's kiddies are actually living because of all road transport. Just try closing it down to see if I am wrong on that
When will politicians look at road safety from outside the insatiable Road Safety Industry envelope? Here in the UK, it is costing us about £3 to £5 billion a year per every one mile per hour we over-slow our road transport. Do these politicians really think there is no cost to it? Well they shouldn't expect the road safety profiteers or Mrs Brennan to draw it to their attention should they? 

Then there is the limit being proposed. 12.42MPH folks. Yes nearly time for the man with the red flag to come back. 

Here I explain why setting 20 MPH limits is counter productive and dangerous. See it here & the bogus numbers used too. 12.42 MPH wouldn't be dangerous but it would be a disaster for essential infrastructure. 

Oh my word. We are not Ireland but you can count on our anti driver lunatics lobbying our politicians for this too. Why wouldn't they? 

Why not just have zero motoring speeds, no Jake Brennans killed by traffic but all of us dead from lack of basics instead? See the point?  

Take emotionalism from road safety for goodness sake.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Now a petition to jail drivers per victim.

In this article a petition wants drivers jailed per each victim. 
See the petition

In effect a potential life sentence for having an accident.

See Cameron to listen to widows of dead cyclists

What utter nonsense. A murderer has to deliberately and with intent attack more than one person with the intent to kill each.

A road accident is totally unintentional and if more than one person dies from it that is from one unintended action. Now I know some cyclists are daft, but surely most of us can see the difference here? So anyone who votes for this is either daft or wants drivers treated with a special hatred.

The next aspect is dangerous driving. That is entirely perceived and subjective. It is the only long prison term offence which depends on the opinion of non experts and hostile witnesses, except where there is a guilty plea. In every other such case, ordinary people must stick to fact in evidence and opinion is reserved for expert witnesses only. Once again any honest and intelligent person will accept that there should never be a lower burden of evidence accepted in any cases involving long terms of imprisonment. Why should drivers be discriminated against when it comes to evidence?

The driver should be sentenced for their actions that resulted  in the death. And there was enough on this one to warrant a prison term. However, I have to point out that had no-one been killed or injured and there were only bent metal, a sentence would be far less. So from the terrible coincidence that human flesh intervened from exactly the same action, with the added dimension that currently society is allowing an unnecessary activity on our roads, we want to jail people for long terms.

It's at times like this that we need to ask, do we need cyclists in the road? After all, it must be faced, had their husbands not have been riding bikes, they would probably still be with them.

In view of all that, I feel this petition is ill conceived.

Drivers speak out now. 

Letter to The Times

See some earlier comments here.

All & sundry cyclist groups here.

And Brake & Direct Line are at it here

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Cyclists demand drivers prove their innocence.

In this new campaign to make drivers prove innocence The premise as usual is an assumption that we choose to drive and perhaps more central that we must have road cycling.

I have posted a comment as follows: 

Wait a minute. I question: 'If you choose to use 1 ton of metal' We do not 'choose' to run cars or to depend on them, we all depend on them; even cyclists. 

Without drivers and walkers society would collapse totally. And that especially includes the private car. All forms of transport is now based around the private motor car making all the links and connections. On the other hand, cycling is pure choice and something society doesn't need or depend on at all. It's really no good cyclists being upset about that reality.

Surely, if cyclists are demanding such a liability to be imposed on its essential infrastructure, society is entitled to ask do we need cyclists? The answer is pretty self evident; it's no we don't.

If road cycling were suggested now as a new invention, with unprotected humans mingling with all these one ton machines, we would call out the men in white coats.

I say all this as a cyclist. The fact is, that the vast majority of people who have ever cycled are like me. No Lycra, no spandex, no shorts and lightweight racers: just a nice sedate upright roadster European style and we demand nothing.

Either cycle or don't cycle but don't moan and make people ask: 'Why do we need them anyway?' And don't respond that drivers are not entitled to do that. They have every right to ask it. 

So a case starts off. Your client chose to expose himself by, being unprotected, to mix, mingle, compete with and generally be in the path of large, heavy, essential, and complex moving machinery operated by complete strangers of varying ability and mental capacity. And the court rules that, by definition of his chosen activity, the cyclist is already 80% liable?  

See a previous blog on this subject:

Thursday, 12 February 2015

DfT promotes BRAKE nonsense against drivers.

We have already noted the anti driver and dangerous road safety amateurs who are awarded honours for their work against essential infrastructure and drivers. We've even managed to expose a direct link between twenty limit campaigner Rod King's MBE and the DfT. More on that here. But now we have the DfT re-tweeting Brake
 and their predictable anti road safety anti driver rubbish on the issue of driver-less cars. 

But also predictable, on his blog, Edmund King,
Edmund King
 of the AA, sees only good about driver-less cars too. See here Well we have already established that King is no friend of the driver- he recently urged to Parliament that drivers are prosecuted much more-  See it here.  In his blog he says:
'Clearly driverless’ car technology - depending on the extent of the automation - offers major benefits for making driving safer, easier and more efficient.'

But the premise on which all this is based is that private cars are not needed as an essential part of road transport infrastructure. That, without private cars, everything would run very well and  probably better.

I have had enough dialogue from the anti driver brigade to confirm that their target is the private driver. They cannot accept that all transport, and commerce is now totally dependent on private car ownership and use. That our society has been built and expanded on the basis of private road transport use. 

For their dangerous dreams to even be considered, we would need a mass shift of population to central hubs and a massive cull too. See here.  The UK driver is sustaining some 65 million people and covering some 300 billion driver miles to do so. How on earth are we to manage that with driver-less cars now?

In her comments Claire Perry MP
Claire Perry
 implies that driver-less cars will be available to all, including people who cannot drive. See  So that means even more cars on the road doesn't it? So who is kidding who? 

But the biggest dishonesty being employed by such as Edmund King, BRAKE and DfT is that the current system is unsafe. 300 billion miles a year in the UK and less death on the road from all causes than from accidents in the home is the reality. So on the contrary drivers are keeping all 65 million of us alive. Now, apart from the green anti people people, who doesn't like that idea?  

Driver-less cars will not be able to do the mileage and speeds essential to maintain us all and the economy too. So it's a question of breaking a status quo that doesn't need fixing.

Why is the DfT not promoting drivers and thus our society? We must take the time to write to our MPs and get them to find the answer to that one. 

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Driver-less cars: What is Claire Perry on for goodness sake?

Transport minister Claire Perry said: ‘I have a vision of the school-run driverless car where you wave your children off to school and they come back at 3.30.’  Article here 
Claire Perry MP

'Children could be put in 'robocar' at home and sent to school without adult.'

'Last night, a Whitehall insider noted: ‘Driverless technology could free up 31 per cent of women who don’t drive.'

Enough. Enough. See here why driver-less cars won't be for the proles. Who takes out the brains of politicians as soon as they get a ministry? Or do they undergo a brain removal before being considered for a portfolio? 

So let's get this straight. You are going to put little Jane into this machine and trust it to get her safely into her classroom and at the end of the day, pick up the correct kiddie, before the child abductor has that is, and get her home before someone has run off with her?  

Driver-less cars will only be for the elite and that's why they are trying to get everyone back to the dark ages of the proles walking and cycling when the nobs had their ponies and traps. 

This is yet another green anti driver policy whereby, in controlling our independent transport choices, they control all of us. 

Where did communism go? It's hidden in the greenery.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Don't let the road safety industry get us worried.

The (Insatiable) Road Safety Industry, in always wanting more, are making much of the increase in road death since 2013, an all time low, as if we can always expect road accidents to decline. See them in all its glory here 

In fact a large part of trying to saddle us with driver-less cars is on the basis of less accidents. The real reason is far more insidious which is basically a green plan to control what we do more and get us all returning to the dark ages of manpower only transport whereby only the rich could afford anything else. See prols can walk or cycle.   Why one earth do we imagine that cycling is being promoted and pushed onto us at great expense as it is now?

Here PACTS more on them here are at it again with this graph showing that the drop in road death has stalled since 2010.

What we never hear is that, unlike cyclists, drivers keep all sixty million of us alive and so road death has to be taken in that context. In fact, if we over-do road safety, the economics of bad policy could kill far more off the road than on it. And yes, some-one has to say it, we could be killing too few people on the roads already. 

I find it very suspicious that, although we could save more lives by acknowledging we are in the 21st Century and removing unnecessary road users, as we do for Railway lines & airport runways but instead greenly promote the opposite and refuse to focus more on real accident causes too, all this hand wringing is going on at all. Why does road safety need to be so anti driver? It wouldn't be lefty greeny otherwise; that's why! 

To follow the logic of The Green Road Safety Industry, we should stop all driving and have road safety Nirvanna but then kill far more than we are saving on the road. So you see where driver-less cars are fitting into the equation now. See the mass cull of driverless 

So don't let's let the alarmists make life even harder for drivers in this election year. Get your candidate to pledge support for genuine road safety and thus drivers.  Is your politician on your side?

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

I don't want to seem mean but.......

I think I have it right but don't charity fundraisers only do things that are a pastime, hobby, extraordinary and certainly not essential, to raise money for good causes? No-one does a train driving run, or plane flying charity flight or mass car drive for charity do they? 

But this biking charity story has several interesting facets all in one place. Ok cycling for charity seems quite common so doesn't that indicate that cycling really isn't more than a hobby or pastime that we can live without? Certainly we really don't need unnecessary use of the carriageway, even for charity runs. It is an impediment and liability on essential infrastructure. Surely charity fundraising shouldn't be allowed to do that? After all why not try cycling along railway lines or up an down an airport runway and see how far your charity stunt would get?   

But what has prompted this very controversial post is that for Kevin Mashford 
Kevin Mashford

 to live, a cyclist had to die. Well that's not really true, someone had to die and in this case, it was a keen cyclist. Jonathan Osborne was killed riding his bike. 

What on earth is Jon's heart thinking now that its new owner has taken up the very thing that killed its old owner? Certainly, in this case, cycling has till now proved healthy for Kevin so why tempt fate and do something that proved so decidedly unhealthy for Jonathan? Aren't there any other safer ways to keep fit or to raise money for charity? See UK cycling death 2015

As if Jon's death were not enough, Kevin is to encourage others to follow Jon, celebrate his life and his death by......doing the same thing that killed him! And while they do it, essential road transport will be hampered, and made even more hazardous too.

A crazy world.