Safe Drivers and Vehicles

Earlier this week I spoke at two fringe events at the LibDem conference. The first was also addressed by Julian Huppert MP, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, the second by cycling minister Norman Baker. Both set out their stall as highly impressive advocates for cycling.

The detailed data for the 2011 casualty figures have been published by the Department for Transport, revealing where the worrying rise in casualties - first announced earlier in the year - is happening, and to whom.

A new government advertising campaign on cycle safety has been launched, although with just £80,000 behind it, it's unlikely to have any discernable effect on driver behaviour. Worse still, the campaign includes some poor advice to drivers on overtaking.

For the last few years CTC's Stop SMIDSY project has recorded the inadequacies in the way the criminal justice system treats cyclists who have been involved in road crashes. CTC is now working with British Cycling and other organisations to call for a review of all aspects of the current system.

Traffic police are crucial to ensuring that road traffic law is enforced and illegal driving is minimised. Unfortunately figures obtained by the chair of the All Party Cycling Group, Julian Huppert MP, reveal that the number of police has collapsed in the last decade.

A new EU-wide comparison of cyclists' safety shows that Britain is among the top countries for measuring cycling . Now we need to make much better use of this information to substantially boost cycle use and improve cyclists' safety.

A hit-and-run drink-driver who ended a medal-winning disabled cyclist’s Paralympic dream has received an 18-month prison sentence. Simon Richardson, already disabled after a cycling collision with a car, had won medals in Beijing and was training for the London Paralympics when the crash happened.

A police officer has been convicted of dangerous driving following a collision in east London which has left a cyclist with serious injuries and possibly permanent brain-damage. Songwriter Pepe Belmonte was about to launch his first album, but has since had to relearn to walk and play the guitar.

New quarterly road casualty figures reinforce the bad news of other similar figures from recent months, not just for cyclists but for motorcyclists and pedestrians too. However, without quarterly data on cycle use, the change in level of risk is unknown.

The number of road casualties on streets with 20 mph limits have increased by a quarter in one year. Unfortunately those figures fail to take into account the change in the number of 20 mph streets, which have been increasing steadily, particularly in the last year.

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