Roger Geffen, CTC's Campaigns and Policy Director said: “A careless driving fixed penalty notice is welcome, but should only be used where no injury has occurred and the driving is demonstrably careless, not dangerous. We have concerns that too often driving which is objectively dangerous is treated by police and prosecutors as merely ‘careless’.”
He continued: “The Government needs to make a full assessment of how the system of road traffic law is operating. Too often bad driving – even where a death occurs – is going unpunished.”
CTC’s Safety in Numbers campaign, in the run up to the previous Government’s draft road safety strategy, made the case for targets for road safety to be based on the rate per mile travelled, not just on numbers of injuries. CTC is pleased to see that the Strategic Framework for Road Safety has adopted this position. CTC also welcomed the proposal to include indicators of the perception of danger when walking and cycling.
However, the Framework is lukewarm on other areas, for instance lower speeds. New guidance on 20mph limits is promised and CTC will seek to ensure that it will strengthen local authorities’ hand to make 20mph the standard limit in urban areas.
CTC, the national cycling charity with 67,000 members, is both the oldest and largest cycling body in the UK, established in 1878. CTC provides a comprehensive range of services, advice, events and protection for its members and works to promote cycling by raising public and political awareness of cycling's health, social and environmental benefits. Visit www.ctc.org.uk .
Last year there were over 2,057 fatal crashes but only 504 prosecutions for causing death by careless, dangerous driving or careless driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Only around a third of deaths which involved at least two vehicles or a pedestrian are dealt with by an appropriate charge. This means that around 1,000 drivers who were involved in the death of another road user were either not charged, or were only charged with a lesser offence.
CTC’s Stop SMIDSY campaign gathers evidence of bad driving and failures to prosecute incidents of death and injury on Britain’s roads. Thousands of incidents of bad driving have been logged at www.stop-smidsy.org.uk .
CTC’s response to the 2009 draft road safety strategy can be found at www.ctc.org.uk/asaferway