Fewer traffic-police, fewer breath tests

The number of drivers being breathalysed has declined significantly since austerity began in 2010. The number of drivers being tested has dropped from 736,846 in 2010 to 463,319 last year. Overstretched traffic police are letting many drivers get away with drink driving, despite the obvious risks to people’s safety. Continue reading “Fewer traffic-police, fewer breath tests”

2016 was a horrendous year for road casualties

The latest government figures on road casualties confirm the link between austerity and increased danger on the roads. The link was outlined in a report by RoadPeace in May this year. Today’s figures show that the number of people who were killed or seriously injured (KSI) on the roads in 2016 has risen. The Government has caveated the rise in serious injuries by saying that the police under-reported such injuries in previous years and suggest that the number remains virtually unchanged. However, the flat-lining of KSI figures since 2010 contrasts with a 16% decline in the 5 years prior to austerity starting in 2010 and far bigger declines in the years before that. Continue reading “2016 was a horrendous year for road casualties”

Best way to reduce congestion is to reduce traffic

Yesterday, the Lords debated congestion and being the only green in the room, I said what the experts say – we need ‘pay as you go’ driving. I was pleased that I got a bit of support from some of the Labour and Lib Dem peers. The government don’t deny it will work, they just think it will be unpopular with motorists. Continue reading “Best way to reduce congestion is to reduce traffic”

Brexit, a Clean Air Act and cycle lanes

Brexit will impact on every aspect of our lives, creating endless trauma but also the chance to improve things. We will need our own laws and our own enforcement agencies, and it’s an opportunity to create a body like the Environmental Protection Agency in the US, with its own staff, legal powers and a culture of independence from Government.
Continue reading “Brexit, a Clean Air Act and cycle lanes”

New report shows need for driving bans

I was involved in taking evidence and drawing up the recommendations in the new report from the Parliamentary cycling group. Many of the stories I heard were of injustice, as the rules of the road are either unenforced by overstretched police or sidestepped through the use of legal loopholes.

For example, does anyone seriously think that the number of driving bans has fallen by 62% over the last 10 years because the quality of our driving has improved? The rules on claiming ‘hardship’ to avoid a driving ban haven’t changed, but the inclination of Magistrates to let people off has. When the ‘exception’ becomes the norm, then the law has to be changed to close the loophole and ensure that dangerous drivers are taken off the road and restricted to using buses/taxis.

The Guardian has a good summary of the report here