The launch of the campaign, which is supported by Slater and Gordon Lawyers, comes just days after the success of CTC’s campaign for an appeal of the ‘unduly lenient’ sentence given to Edinburgh driver Gary McCourt whose driving had killed 2 cyclists. CTC has seen the strength of feeling for Road Justice as the campaign to call for a review of McCourt’s sentence was supported by over 6000 people who wrote to the Lord Advocate in the space of just three weeks.
Since 2009 CTC has collected over 4000 reports of bad driving through its online reporting system (at www.roadjustice.org.uk) and has spoken directly to victims who were injured by bad driving but whose cases where not dealt with properly by the legal system. The Road Justice website includes videos with some of these victims, telling their personal stories of the ways in which the justice system failed them, compounding the suffering from their original injuries. ( case studies are available for interview )
One of the videos on the Road Justice website is that of Sarah-Charlotte Peace. She was hit by a car driver on a roundabout in August 2012. She suffered serious leg injuries in the crash. Her career plans have been put on hold as a result and she now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. She didn’t receive any support from the police and never heard from the officer that attended the crash scene. In court the driver admitted that she had not looked properly before entering the roundabout, yet was only found guilty of careless driving. The driver received a paltry £110 fine and 9 penalty points and was able to drive again the same day.
CTC is campaigning for:
- High quality and thorough police investigations of all road traffic collisions.
- Better charging and prosecution decisions.
- Sentences that reflect the severity of the offence and discourage bad driving, including greater use of substantial driving bans.
The charity insists road crime is not being prioritised in the same way as other types of crime. Roads police numbers have fallen 29% in the past 10 years in England and Wales, while overall police numbers have remained stable.
CTC’s Road Justice Campaigner Rhia Weston said “We have compiled case studies and legal arguments to present to representatives of the police across the UK which highlight the need for better quality road collision investigations and appropriate charging practices.
Over the next six months CTC will also send evidence to the prosecution services and the courts demonstrating the need for more appropriate charging and prosecution decisions and greater use of tougher sentences, with an emphasis on extended driving bans.”
Rhia Weston added “We will work with other victims and their families to put forward strong arguments to law enforcers of the need to take bad driving seriously and work to bring about safer cycling and safer roads for all road users’.
It isn’t acceptable to feel at risk every time you get on your bike. It is time for all drivers to be held responsible for their actions
CTC President Jon Snow