Safe Drivers and Vehicles

After a week in which we learnt of two disturbing acquittals for alleged driving offences, Roger Geffen reflects on a meeting with Justice Minister Helen Grant MP, and looks forward hopefully to action to address the legal system's compacent response to bad driving in 2013.

CTC has welcomed a commitment from Helen Grant MP, the Minister for Courts and Victims, to support discussions on how to improve the legal system's response to road traffic offences.

As the Mary Bowers’ case demonstrates careless driving charges and small fines do not reflect the severity of crimes committed by bad drivers. Sentences, therefore, need to be harsher, but we must also be aware of the large number of collisions that do not even make it to court in the first place.

Lorry driver Petre Beiu, a Romanian national, was acquitted of the dangerous driving charge he received after hitting Mary Bowers as she commuted to work in November 2011. He was found guilty of the lesser charge of careless driving, for which he received a £2,700 fine and an 8 month driving ban.

Normally, each time the House of Lords holds a short debate on cycling, up get a troop of seasoned peers to condemn the behaviour of cyclists. But yesterday's debate was refreshingly light on anti-cyclist drivel and strong on good policy.

Now that the programme has been broadcast - with some important edits compared with the preview version - Roger Geffen advises against simply venting anger and instead suggests some positive outcomes.

Does the programme - War on Britain's Roads - present an unbalanced and sensationalist view of conditions on the road network? If you think so, complain to the BBC setting out the ways in which you feel it has misrepresented the situation.

Ahead of BBC1's documentary 'The War on Britain's Roads', CTC's Roger Geffen previews the programme and urges cyclists to provide feedback. He asks you to listen out for the claim that "reported incidents [..are..] on the rise", and tell us what "incidents" you think they are referring to.

The London Assembly Transport Committee is calling on the Mayor to provide much better facilities for cycling, hugely increase the budget, and set a higher target for cycle use.

Road crash victims' charity RoadPeace held a timely open meeting on Tuesday (13.11.12) about the Crown Prosecution Service's proposed new guidance on prosecuting bad driving offences. It was a powerful, emotive and well informed panel discussion, which the CPS will hopefully take heed of.

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