Category Archives: Road Danger Reduction

Public meeting: Presentation of RDRF Manifesto for London Mayoral Candidates (Hustings)

Hosted by London Borough of Lambeth

Public meeting at 336 Brixton Road on Monday 23rd November


6.15 Tea and biscuits

6.30 Opening statement from Lord Berkeley, President RDRF (Tony now can’t be with us, so his place as chair for the evening will be taken by RDRF founder member/ treasurer Ken Spence)

6.35 LB Lambeth Environment and Sustainability Portfolio holder, Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite.

6.45 RDRF Mayoral candidates Manifesto, Introduction by RDRF Chair Dr Robert Davis

6.50 The Mayoral Candidates Manifesto and responses: EACH ITEM WILL START WITH A 5 – 10 MINUTE TALK BY RDRF COMMITTEE MEMBER OR SUPPORTER, FOLLOWED BY either RESPONSES BY REPRESENTATIVES OF CANDIDATES or READING OUT RESPONSES BY CANDIDATES THAT HAVE BEEN SENT IN. So far we have had 3 responses and have been promised responses by Labour and Conservative candidates.

  1. Law Enforcement Robert Davis
  2. Training of MPS personnel: Brenda Puech (Accessibility consultant and RDRF Committee)
  3. Measuring Danger Properly: Robert Davis
  4. Even Safer Lorries, Colin McKenzie, (Transport Planner, RDRF Committee)
  5. Safer Buses: Tom Kearney Tom has been campaigning for greater transparency – and for pedestrianising Oxford St, which is now agreed by all candidates – about TfL bus operations since being seriously injured while walking on Oxford St. footway
  6. Modal Shift: Caroline Russell, (Cllr at LB Islington, RDRF Committee))
  7. Post-crash investigation: Amy Aeron-Thomas, RoadPeace the National Road Crash Victims charity.

7.45 –  Discussion.


..and don’t forget our  Manifesto and replies received so far are here:

Responses to our Manifesto for London Mayoral candidates

CarolinePidgeonLibDems  Sian Berry

We have received responses to our London Mayoral candidates Manifesto from Caroline Pidgeon (Liberal Democrats) and Sian Berry (Green Party).  We show them below in the order received: in  orange (Caroline Pidgeon) and green (Sian Berry) fonts. UPDATE: November 18th see response from Independent candidate Rosalind Readhead in purple

We hope to get responses from the Conservative and Labour candidates soon. Continue reading

Who’s afraid of “Safety in Numbers”?

The following essay is based on a review of “Is it safe in numbers?” by Christie and Pike (in Injury Prevention August 2015 Vol 21 No. 4 276-277 – see the reference to it here ) . It indicates certain attitudes and beliefs about human behaviour amongst “road safety” researchers and professionals – attitudes and beliefs which we think it important to criticise. Continue reading

Scania trucks’ “Keeping children safe”? What’s going on here?


A construction industry truck currently sold by Scania. Note gap between vehicle body and lack of diver visibility in high cab

Amongst the deluge of unquestioned “road safety” press releases from the “road safety” industry, one recent one grabs our attention. Time for us to question this initiative from truck manufacturers Scania – and one from Volvo – with another bit of recent publicity on the same matter. Continue reading

What is the driving test for? : Notes on its social function at the 80th anniversary


Churchill in 1911 (Photo: Daily Mail)
“Few accidents arise… from ignorance of how to drive, and a much more frequent cause of disaster is undue proficiency leading to excessive adventure”. Winston Churchill, then Home Secretary, responding to a 1911 TUC delegation demanding the introduction of a driving test.

As we approach the 80th anniversary of the compulsory driving test in the UK, there will be some discussion of how there could be modifications of the current driving test. There will be calls for a ”graduated driving test” and possibly even the argument that drivers should retake “the test”.

I take a different approach. I argue that, however much it has been modified or tweaked, the role of the “test” is actually to boost the sense of entitlement of drivers – encouraging the sense of “undue proficiency” that Churchill perceptively noticed. Whatever benefits it may have are thus diminished, and I doubt whether it has a significant – or indeed perhaps any – overall function as a means of controlling road danger.

Saying this is rather taboo, but I think that this taboo needs to be broken. Let’s see how the compulsory driving test for motorists is in many ways part of the problem of danger on the roads. Below I enclose what I wrote about “the test” in 1992 (fully referenced version here)Page 108 – 111, and then I see whether anything has changed since then. Continue reading