Safe Drivers and Vehicles

Roger Geffen's picture

Boris must stop ducking responsibility for action to save lives

CTC's Campaigns Director Roger Geffen argues that Boris's "finger-pointing" is pointed in the wrong direction, and calls for real solutions to the dangers faced by pedestrians as well as cyclists.
Boris is accused of mis-representing how cyclists die. Photo: Yurri (CC licence)

There has been a truly appalling death-toll on London’s roads in the past 13 days.  Prior to November 5th, there had been 8 cyclist fatalities in 10 months this year.  Since then, we have 6 cyclists’ and 3 pedestrians’ deaths within 13 days, all killed by lorries, coaches or buses.  In total, 9 of the 14 fatalities this year have involved lorries.

Cherry Allan's picture

Common driving offences

Tackling common, bad driving offences effectively would help create a safer and more attractive environment for cycling and walking....
Driver at wheel of car
Headline Messages: 

Tackling common bad driving offences effectively would help create a safer and more attractive environment for cycling and walking. In particular, the drink/drive limit should be lowered and hands-free mobile phones banned.

'Common Driving Offences' is one of a series of CTC briefings covering various aspects of traffic law and enforcement. Others consider bad driving in the context of the legal framework in general and specific aspects of it including sentencing, prosecution, the courts, the vital role of the traffic police, and driver training, testing and licencing (forthcoming).

CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 

Exceeding the speed limit

  • Speeding fines are currently too low to have any significant impact on driver behaviour.
  • Extreme speed (e.g. 20mph+ over the limit) should be treated as dangerous driving in the first instance.
  • There should be no margin over the speed limit at which a driver avoids penalty.

Drink/drug driving

  • The drink drive blood alcohol limit should be lowered from 80mg/100ml to not more than 50mg/100ml, in line with most European countries. Novice drivers should not be allowed to drink at all before driving.
  • We support the use of targeted checkpoints, but also believe that the police should be given more freedom to carry out random breath testing.
  • Alcohol interlocks should be fitted in offenders’ vehicles. If successful, the measure should be extended.
  • The definitions and standards for drug-related driving offences should relate solely to whether a drug impairs the ability to drive; it should not relate to whether it is legal to use it - i.e. over-the-counter and prescription drugs should be included.

Mobile phones

  • Use of hands-free mobile phones whilst driving should be banned.
  • More research needs to be done on the impact of other in-car distractions (e.g. SatNavs, radios, in-car computers etc). Drivers who put others in danger because they have been distracted by such devices need to be appropriately penalised.

Driving without entitlement

  • Any driver convicted of a bad driving offence whilst unlicensed or disqualified should receive a custodial sentence for the crime.
Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
November 2013
David Cox's picture

Reflecting on World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

Yesterday, the third Sunday of November, was World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. Events and services took place throughout the UK and CTC's Chair of Council, David Cox, joined a rememberance ride in Birmingham.
RoadPeace Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum

This day focuses on both the overall scale and the individual devastation caused by road deaths and injuries, and the impact upon families and communities around the world. 

Almost 4,000 people are killed and many hundreds of thousands injured on roads throughout the world every day.  Many more have to cope with bereavement or the effects of injury, and thus become part of the huge group of people affected by road carnage. 

RhiaWeston's picture

Road Justice local campaigners receive media training

This week, Road Justice local campaigners attended a day of media training to equip them with the skills to raise awareness of the Road Justice campaign in their area and to press local decision makers to improve road safety.
Campaigner Mick Nott doing a pre-recorded interview

The training was held at the Sheffield offices of Slater & Gordon Lawyers, the sponsors of the Road Justice campaign. Slater & Gordon operate CTC’s legal advice phoneline. The Slater & Gordon Road Traffic Incident team attended the first half of the day’s training and were on hand to answer any legal questions.

CTC's picture

CTC condemns rising cyclists' death toll in London.

CTC, the national cycling charity demands action on cyclists’ safety in London after fifth cyclist is killed in ten days on the capital’s roads.

 

In a week where the total number of cyclists killed in London this year rose to a staggering 13, 8 of which were involved in collisions with lorries, CTC is calling for major changes to be made to the design of lorries, to the design of major junctions and to driver training, to avert more unnecessary deaths.

Contact Information: 

Media enquiries CTC Senior Communications Officer Laura Raymond 07960 349405

olivercw's picture

Jon Snow, CTC President and newscaster, chairs Cycling Scotland Conference

The ninth Cycling Scotland Conference was held at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow. The conference bought together active travel professionals, campaigners, volunteers, national and local politicians to learn from each other and to network.
Jon Snow CTC President & Chris Oliver CTC Scotland Chairman

Jon Snow, CTC President, made a charismatic chairman of the ninth 2013 Cycling Scotland Conference

In his opening statement, Jon said he'd seen “...more segregated infrastructure in his cab ride from Glasgow station to the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome conference venue than in all of London!”

Cherry Allan's picture

Cycling under the influence

Riding whilst under the influence of drink or drugs is an offence...
Cycle and car
Headline Messages: 

This briefing explains the law on cycling under the influence of drink or drugs. It should be read in conjunction with our policies on cyclists' behaviour and the law.

CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 

Please refer to CTC's briefing on cyclists' behaviour and the law for our policies on cycling offences.

Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
November 2013
Cherry Allan's picture

Goods vehicles (lorries, HGVs, vans etc)

Lorries pose a disproportionate threat to cyclists. There is a range of measures that should be introduced to reduce the hazard as a matter or urgency...
Goods vehicle
Headline Messages: 
  • Reducing danger and intimidation from lorries is a key issue for improving cycle safety, especially in urban areas.
  • Goods vehicles (excluding light vans) make up only 5% of traffic in Great Britain (GB), but are on average involved in about 18% of cyclists’ road deaths per year. In 2012, goods vehicles were involved in 15% of GB pedestrian fatalities, so they pose a serious threat to them too.
  • Large goods vehicles were involved in 5 of the 14 cyclists’ fatalities in London in 2012.
  • For cyclists, collisions with lorries are far more likely to prove fatal than collisions with cars: in 2012, the cyclist was killed in nearly 25% of serious injury cyclists/goods vehicle collisions; this figure was a little over 2% for cyclists/cars. Equally, lorries were involved in just 1.5% of slight injuries to cyclists, but 19% of cyclists’ fatalities.  
  • Ways to tackle the problem include: maintaining and enforcing safe driving and vehicle standards; training and information for both cyclists and goods vehicle drivers; cycle-friendly vehicles; and road layout, routing and distribution strategies that minimise conflict, and restricting access to busy urban streets at peak times.
CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 
  • Goods vehicles pose a disproportionate threat to cyclists. Action must be taken by national and local government, hauliers and fleet operators, the police, the Health and Safety Executive and other enforcement agencies, as well as by individual lorry drivers and cyclists themselves.
  • Lorries pose risk to both cyclists and pedestrians, so the focus should be on lorries and lorry drivers, not just on cyclists.  Many of the following measures that would help protect cyclists, would benefit pedestrians too (NB these are not necessarily in priority order given the need for more research into their relative effectiveness – see below):
    • Ensuring that vehicles are safe and that drivers are fit to drive them. This needs to be supported by rigorous enforcement of driving and vehicle standards by the responsible agencies.
    • Cycle awareness training for drivers or, better still, actual cycle training.
    • Training for cyclists to help them interact with goods vehicles as safely as possible.
    • Publicity campaigns for drivers and cyclists alike, highlighting the hazards and how to avoid them.
    • Designing and specifying lorries to provide clear direct vision between the driving position and any pedestrians or cyclists near to the vehicle, including fitting bigger windows. To complement this (or where better direct vision is genuinely impossible to deliver effectively), other safety devices should be specified and fitted, e.g.: sensors and alarms, in-cab cameras; mirrors/lenses; side guards; external warning signs; and intelligent speed adaptation.
  • Road layouts and street furniture (e.g. ‘Trixi’ mirrors) that facilitate safe interaction.
  • Traffic management measures, routing and distribution strategies to mitigate the impact of lorries on places where people cycle or want to cycle. These include banning lorries on busy streets at certain times of the day while permitting night-time deliveries instead; establishing distribution centres on the edge of urban areas where lorries can pass loads onto smaller vehicles for onward delivery; and carrying more freight by rail and water.
  • Promoting freight cycles for goods distribution in urban areas.
  • Procurement policies, especially from public authorities, ensuring that the supply and delivery of goods and services takes the safety of vulnerable road users into account.
  • Research into the efficacy of all the above measures needs to be done, with the Department for Transport (DfT), Transport for London (TfL), other local authorities and operators all collaborating EU-wide, as required.
  • CTC opposes moves to introduce longer and/or heavier lorries on the UK roads.
  • Individual haulage companies and the associations that represent them should develop, publish, maintain and monitor strategies, action plans and fleet management practices that minimise the risks goods vehicles pose to cyclists. Where appropriate, these should be produced jointly with local authorities and enforcement agencies and be based on consultation with cyclists’ representatives.
Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
November 2013
Roger Geffen's picture

Scots MSPs support cycle safety as Minister keeps open 'presumed liability' debate

MSPs from the SNP and Conservative parties join Greens in calling for a positive debate on continental-style 'presumed liability' rules, which also revealed strong cross-party support for investment in cycling and improved cyclists' safety.
The Roadshare Campaign for presumed liability in Scotland

The debate on 'presumed liability' rules (also known as 'stricter liability' or 'no fault liability') was led by Green MSP Alison Johnstone, who is also co-convenor of Holyrood's Cross-Party Group on Cycling.

olivercw's picture

The Roadshare Campaign for presumed liability in Scotland

On Tuesday, 29 October 2013, the Scottish Parliament will debate proposals for 'presumed liability' rules (also known as 'stricter liability'), whereby motorists involved in collisions with cyclists or pedestrians would be presumed liable in a civil law claim against them for damages.
The Roadshare Campaign for presumed liability in Scotland

[N.B. You can now also read the transcript of the debate, as well as CTC's commentary and summary.]

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