Road Justice petition handed to national policing lead for cycling
The petition, which has been signed by more than 12,000 people, is calling for the police to implement recommendations for better roads policing, which are outlined in a report produced for CTC’s Road Justice campaign.
The Road Justice campaign - sponsored by Slater & Gordon Lawyers - aims to get the criminal justice system to take a tougher approach to bad driving in order to make the roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians.
The campaign argues that lenient treatment of bad driving by the police is leading to a culture of impunity, wherein drivers who cause serious injury to others often get just a slap on the wrist, or at best are ordered to attend a driving awareness course or pay a minimal fine if prosecuted.
No one should be complacent about road safety even though overall road casualties are dropping, because cyclist and pedestrian casualties are on the rise. This shift must be reflected in policing priorities.
Road Justice campaign coordinator, Rhia Weston
The campaign is calling for the police to treat bad driving with the severity it deserves by:
- Thoroughly investigating all road collisions that result in injury and death;
- Being adequately resourced and trained to enforce road traffic law and investigate collisions thoroughly;
- Effectively supporting road crash victims and bereaved families.
Road Justice campaigners want ACPO to take the lead on implementing the campaign’s recommendations in order to urge police forces across England and Wales to make much needed changes. The national cycling lead, Mark Milsom, said he supports the campaign in principle and is keen to work with CTC to improve roads policing,with a focus on cycle safety.
Also taking part in the hand over of the petition was Martyn Bolt, one of the trustees of the Cyclists’ Defence Fund which collaborates with CTC on the Road Justice campaign and which provides advice to cyclists who have been involved in road collisions. Martyn was accompanied by the daughters of John Radford, a CTC councillor and chairman of Huddersfield and District CTC, who is in a coma following a serious road collision last year.
MPs have expressed support for the campaign. Dr Sarah Wollaston, conservative MP for Totnes and member of the all party parliamentary cycling group added her support saying, "I would like to see police officers enforcing the law on the careless driving to prevent this escalating to dangerous driving and avoidable tragedies. I support this campaign to keep our roads safe for all users."
Mary Creagh, Labour MP for Wakefield and Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, said: "CTC’s report highlights how concerned cycling campaigners are about the Government’s deep cuts to policing. Over 12,500 police officers will be lost by 2015 and it is local communities, including cyclists, who are paying the price. Labour is committed to improving cycling safety through better education, enforcement and engineering. I am determined to make the roads safer for everyone."
The Road Justice campaign coordinator, Rhia Weston, added: "A 29% reduction in roads police numbers in the UK over the last decade shows that roads policing is no longer prioritised for investment. However, no one should be complacent about road safety even though overall road casualties are dropping, becuase cyclist and pedestrian casualties are on the rise. This shift must be reflected in policing priorities."
The campaign is now calling on Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), who are responsible for securing efficient and effective policing, to implement the campaign's recommendations for better roads policing.
The report 'Road Justice: the role of the police' can be downloaded from the Road Justice website.