The Michael Mason case, law enforcement and the Traffic Justice Alliance

There has been (in our view, justified) outrage about the case of Michael Mason who was run down and killed in central London in February 2014 (reported here and specifically on the inquest here by Martin Porter QC ) largely because the driver was not charged and prosecuted for any driving offence.  Issues have been raised about traffic law enforcement which coincide with our conference in November 2014  and the formation of the Traffic Justice Alliance which hopes to address them. Below is our take on the issues, including the response of the Mayor of London to this case.

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 Michael Mason and his daughter Anna Tatton-Brown (Ross Lydall)

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Road Safety Week 2014: What was wrong with it?

Our last post is one of the most well-read and commented on since www.rdrf.org.uk went live, with particular support on social media from supporters of cycling and sustainable transport. We’re aware that many people with good intentions feel that supporting Road Safety Week (RSW) is worthwhile. We don’t. As I concluded after a debate with Brake at the end of the post:

“…a generally “fluffy” approach appealing to people to try to be nice if they feel like it is exactly what has not worked to reduce danger on the roads – whatever the feelings of people involved (and I should add that these feelings are frequently highly commendable). Wanting people to be less dangerous and telling this to whoever wants to listen is not only not enough, unless you address important obstacles – often represented by your partners – it can become part of the problem.”

Brake initially responded by accusing us of insulting those bereaved by road crashes – which we strongly deny and bitterly resent – and then took the trouble to engage in responses to our concerns. We’re happy to continue the debate. To repeat: “I raise these issues because I hope they can assist people in developing and supporting programmes for road danger reduction: real road safety, Safer Roads for All.” Continue reading

Transport for London’s “Cycle Safety Action Plan”: Still getting it wrong.

Earlier this year the RDRF responded to Transport for London’s Draft Cycle Safety Action Plan (CSAP) here  and here .

I argued then that: “The draft CSAP is a fundamentally flawed document which fails in three main respects. Firstly, its idea of “safety” for cyclists is measured in a way which can indicate that having fewer cyclists and a higher cyclist casualty rate is BETTER than having more cyclists and a lower casualty rate. Secondly, it fails to differentiate between measures which reduce danger to cyclists (and other road users) and those which do not. Thirdly, it has no real way of assessing the effects of measures implemented.”

The new CSAP is now out . Apart from some typographical differences, there are only two noticeable changes. One of these changes seems to be simply cosmetic, the other could potentially have an effect, but I suggest is unlikely to. (So much for the effects of consultation). I discuss these changes below along with general comments: if these seem the same as before it’s because (apart from the two changes) the criticisms remain the same. So: Continue reading

Conference on road danger reduction and enforcement in London

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A one-day conference ‘Road Danger Reduction and Enforcement: How policing can support walking and cycling in London’

Organised by RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims; the Road Danger Reduction Forum; CTC, the national cycling charity; and the London Cycling Campaign, the conference will highlight what the Metropolitan Police Service and Transport for London are doing to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety, and what changes campaigners would like to see. The conference is aimed at non-professional road safety campaigners, Councillors, and transport, health and road safety professionals concerned with safety on the roads.

The conference will be chaired jointly by Lord Berkeley, President of the Road Danger Reduction Forum and Vice-President of CTC, and Baroness Jenny Jones MLA.

The conference, which is free of charge, will be hosted by LB Southwark at 160 Tooley Street (http://www.southwark.gov.uk/location) on:

Saturday November 1st  :  10.30am – 3.45pm.

  To register for the conference  go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/traffic-law-enforcement-conference-tickets-13438006439   

 Lord Berkeley says: “Attention is rightly directed at how our streets are engineered for people walking and cycling. But we also need to have road traffic law properly enforced – for the safety of all road users – if we are to reduce danger to cyclists and pedestrians.

The conference has been welcomed by the 20’s plenty campaign and the Transport and Health Study Group. Conference programme is below here: Continue reading