Safe Drivers and Vehicles

Chris Peck's picture

Families of both those killed by Joao Lopes demand his licence be removed permanently

1 August 2012
The families of Eilidh Cairns and Nora Gutmann, both killed by the same HGV driver - 56-year-old Joao Lopes - have demanded that his licence be permanently removed. Lopes pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and was sentenced to 4 years in jail but just a 6 year driving ban.
Lorries are required to have some extra mirrors fitted, but not enough

In February 2009 Eilidh Cairns, a 30-year-old TV producer, was killed while cycling to work. She was run over by an HGV, driven by Joao Lopes.

The police found no connection between Eilidh's death and the actions of the driver.  Lopes pleaded guilty to the minor charge of driving with uncorrected defective vision. He was fined £200 pounds, given three points on his licence and permitted to carry on driving a tipper lorry.

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Roger Geffen's picture

Mixed messages for cycle safety in London

Transport for London's announcement of plans to complete 50 cycle-friendly junction improvements by the end of 2013 (including ten by the end of 2012) is very welcome. However, the Mayor's draft road safety strategy, launched the same day, is itself very much in need of a "cycle-friendly redesign".
Cyclists have clear priority at this junction in Copenhagen

75% of cyclists' injuries are at or near a junction, rising to 79% in London (see p14 of TfL's Cycle Safety Action Plan, PDF, 2.2MB).  There is also good evidence that reducing traffic speeds at junctions - whether by introducing traffic lights, or by making drivers turn more sharply as they enter and leave a junction - are highly effective ways to improve cycle safety.

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Roger Geffen's picture

BMA calls for health to drive transport policy

The British Medical Association's hard-hitting new report on Transport and Health calls for traffic restraint, challenging walking and cycling targets, improved provision for walking and cycling, 20mph speed limits, and health sector action to promote active travel. Will the Government take note?
BMA calls for health, not the economy, to drive transport policy

The British Medical Association's report Healthy Transport = Healthy Lives in many ways echoes what the BMA was calling for in its 1997 report on Road Transport and Health. This time though, they have put the spotlight firmly on the economic costs of car-dominated transport policies, and the huge economic benefits of a healthy and sustainable society.

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Chris Peck's picture

Government inaction on road safety costing lives

The Transport Select Committee report into road safety comes just a week after new guidance on setting local speed limits showed feeble leadership from Government. Where local authorities aren't performing, stronger direction is required from central Government to ensure road safety improves.
The Government has shown little leadership on 20 mph zones and limits

Much has changed since the Transport Select Committee inquiry into road safety took evidence from CTC's Roger Geffen in January and from CTC's President and Vice-President in May. The 'Cities fit for cycling' campaign by The Times emerged in February and radically shifted the debate around cycle safety. And, more recently, new figures emerged showing a massive spike in serious injuries amongst cyclists, but just a slight rise in cycle use.

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Chris Peck's picture

Road safety inquiry highlights lack of Government leadership on cycling

18 July 2012
A report from the Transport Select Committee has criticised the Government over the handling of cycle safety. The report emerged following evidence given by CTC and CTC's President Jon Snow earlier in the year.
CTC President Jon Snow

CTC has called for concerted action after MPs have criticised Government policy on road safety, demanding stronger leadership on road safety and cycle safety in particular.

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Roger Geffen's picture

Health journal highlights ‘inactivity pandemic’

Health journal The Lancet has highlighted a global inactivity “pandemic”, highlighting both the scale of the problem and the evidence of what works to tackle it.

The current issue of The Lancet made headlines with a series of articles, highlighting the mounting worldwide crisis of physical inactivity.

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Chris Peck's picture

Collapse in prosecution of bad driving

The number of prosecutions for motoring offences in magistrates courts has fallen dramatically in the last ten years in all but three police force areas. Chris Peck looks in more detail at some of the numbers.
The Ministry of Justice produces statistics on offences and sentencing

The other day I explored some of the possible reasons for the huge increase in serious injury in one year amongst cyclists.

I put it down partly to an increase in cycle use masked by poor weather the year before, and a steady fall in traffic law enforcement.

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Chris Peck's picture

"16% increase in serious injuries" - so what's happening?

A closer analysis of cycle casualty data suggests one possible explanation lies in the weather in 2010. Unfortunately, determining risk without good data on cycle use continues to be problematic.
Cycle serious injuries have been rising as fast as cycle use in recent years

In 2011 serious injuries to cyclists rose by an astonishing 16% in one year. That follows a smaller but still alarming increase in 2010, and is the 7th year in a row that serious injuries and deaths have risen for cyclists.

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Chris Peck's picture

Killer HGV driver pleads guilty to causing death by dangerous driving

Lorry driver Joao Lopes hit and killed Eilidh Cairns in 2009 but was only ever fined for poor eyesight. Last year he ran over and killed 97-year-old Nora Gutmann in 2011. He has now pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and tachograph offences.
Lorries are disproportionately involved in pedestrian and cyclists' deaths

Kate Cairns, who fought for a proper investigation into her sister's death to stop other fatalities happening in the same way - and who went on to campaign for better lorry safety in Europe -  said: 

"For three years I have battled the whole way through an inadequate system which assumes the guilt of the cyclist, and which is rife with incompetence and complacency and which has failed us all on so many levels.

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Chris Peck's picture

Cycle casualties increase sharply in 2011

28 June 2012
Figures released today from the Government show that cycle use increased very slightly in 2011, however, the numbers of serious injuries rose markedly. CTC is calling on Government to do more to improve safety.
Reduced traffic policing may be partly behind the rise in casualties

Cycle casualties increased sharply in 2011 compared to the previous year, while deaths and serious injuries also rose for many other road users.

This is now the fifth year in a row that cycle serious injuries have risen, and while cycle use has also increased, the risk of injury has not improved over that period.

Serious injuries to cyclists rose in 16% in 2011, from 2,660 to 3,085. Overall cycle casualties rose by 12%, to 19,215.

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  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Paul Tuohy
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541

 

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