Young drivers with modified cars driving dangerously

Like many people, i am tired of young drivers turning my local roads into a race track every night, taring around in their modified ford fiesta's, and driving behind me agreessively when i obey the speed limits. When i have reported individuals to the police no action has been taken.

 

Whilst i am doing my best to price these children off the roads entirely, as i work in the insurance industry, why can't these modifications be restricted to prevent cars being turned into status symbols, especially by the underclass from the local council estate.

 

How is it that these people can afford to buy and run a car, and make expensive modifications to it, whilst their only income is from state benefit?

Why is this idea important?

Like many people, i am tired of young drivers turning my local roads into a race track every night, taring around in their modified ford fiesta's, and driving behind me agreessively when i obey the speed limits. When i have reported individuals to the police no action has been taken.

 

Whilst i am doing my best to price these children off the roads entirely, as i work in the insurance industry, why can't these modifications be restricted to prevent cars being turned into status symbols, especially by the underclass from the local council estate.

 

How is it that these people can afford to buy and run a car, and make expensive modifications to it, whilst their only income is from state benefit?

Peak Hours Congestion

HGVs (all including foreign) should have to buy a special day permit to allow them to drive on any road during peak traffic hours, e.g. 7.00am to 9.30am and 4.30pm to 7.00pm. The tarrif should be quite high to e.g. £50 in order to dissuade usage. Fines for non-payment should be of the order of £500 and the owner of the HGV should be liable. The same type of cameras used to manage the congestion charge shoudl be employed to enforce as should current speed cameras. HGVs should not be allowed to leave the country until such time as all outstanding fines are paid.

Why is this idea important?

HGVs (all including foreign) should have to buy a special day permit to allow them to drive on any road during peak traffic hours, e.g. 7.00am to 9.30am and 4.30pm to 7.00pm. The tarrif should be quite high to e.g. £50 in order to dissuade usage. Fines for non-payment should be of the order of £500 and the owner of the HGV should be liable. The same type of cameras used to manage the congestion charge shoudl be employed to enforce as should current speed cameras. HGVs should not be allowed to leave the country until such time as all outstanding fines are paid.

Improving UK driving standards

I would like to see a longer, log book style route to becoming a qualified driver.  Our test at the moment, teaches new drivers to drive in town centres and nothing else.  I find it amazing that, in theory and often in practise, a new driver can hit the roads with no experience of dual carrigeway, motorway, nighttime, or adverse weather driving.

I would like to see a log book of competencies, ticked off by a qualified driving instructor, that demonstrates learner drivers have reached an acceptable standard in all aspects of driving.

I would also not rule out fully qualified drivers having to demonstrate that they are competent in all these areas of driving, I'm not just picking on new drivers

Why is this idea important?

I would like to see a longer, log book style route to becoming a qualified driver.  Our test at the moment, teaches new drivers to drive in town centres and nothing else.  I find it amazing that, in theory and often in practise, a new driver can hit the roads with no experience of dual carrigeway, motorway, nighttime, or adverse weather driving.

I would like to see a log book of competencies, ticked off by a qualified driving instructor, that demonstrates learner drivers have reached an acceptable standard in all aspects of driving.

I would also not rule out fully qualified drivers having to demonstrate that they are competent in all these areas of driving, I'm not just picking on new drivers

CLAMPING BAN OR REGULATE?

I have been involved in parking management since 1989.  I do not consider myself to be a cowboy or a rogue.  I am not a wealthy man and make a modest living from clamping and towing vehicles parked where they should not be.  I agree with much that has been written but I believe an outright ban on clamping and towing away is a mistake.  Landowner will loose the “freedom” to protect their own property from selfish unauthorised parking.  Gates and barriers are not always practical.  I manage a number of gated residential communities and although outsiders may not be able to get in, the sites suffer from inconsiderate and selfish parking by residents and their visitors.  Without any power to deter or punish this problem will certainly get worse should a ban be adopted?  As I see it the principal of using a financial penalty to deter or punish unauthorised is broadly accepted.  The two complaints most frequently voiced are exorbitant charges and inadequate warning signs.  I accept that this is sometimes the case.  Although a Conservative all of my life up until now I have to say that it was the last Labour government had the right idea. They introduced licensing so that people with a criminal record could not operate as clampers.  They were also about to introduce maximum charges for clamping, towing and storage of vehicles and regulations in respect of warning signs. Had these laws been introduced and more importantly enforced by the police I feel much of the criticism about clamping would have been answered  

Why is this idea important?

I have been involved in parking management since 1989.  I do not consider myself to be a cowboy or a rogue.  I am not a wealthy man and make a modest living from clamping and towing vehicles parked where they should not be.  I agree with much that has been written but I believe an outright ban on clamping and towing away is a mistake.  Landowner will loose the “freedom” to protect their own property from selfish unauthorised parking.  Gates and barriers are not always practical.  I manage a number of gated residential communities and although outsiders may not be able to get in, the sites suffer from inconsiderate and selfish parking by residents and their visitors.  Without any power to deter or punish this problem will certainly get worse should a ban be adopted?  As I see it the principal of using a financial penalty to deter or punish unauthorised is broadly accepted.  The two complaints most frequently voiced are exorbitant charges and inadequate warning signs.  I accept that this is sometimes the case.  Although a Conservative all of my life up until now I have to say that it was the last Labour government had the right idea. They introduced licensing so that people with a criminal record could not operate as clampers.  They were also about to introduce maximum charges for clamping, towing and storage of vehicles and regulations in respect of warning signs. Had these laws been introduced and more importantly enforced by the police I feel much of the criticism about clamping would have been answered  

Repeal the part of the Road Traffic Act 1988 on closed road for special events

Throughout Europe (and also in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man), ‘closed road’ events bring great benefit to the local communities in terms of tourism, economic prosperity and sporting kudos. The UK is at a disadvantage and is not able to reap these benefits because s.12(1), of the Road Traffic Act 1988, makes it an offence for a person to promote or take part in a race or trial of speed between motor vehicles on a public way. Though it is understandable that this legislation is directed at preventing dangerous and unregulated races and speed trials, properly monitored events can be both safe and enjoyable.  Instead of abolishing the legislation completely the new UK government could provide a mechanism to deliver a Temporary Suspension Order (in association with local authorities) that would enable a limited annual number of ‘closed road’ events to take place in England, Wales and Scotland, with the associated benefits for the regions selected. Previous studies undertaken on behalf of the Jim Clark Rally, put the figure for that one event in excess of £3m – this leads the MSA to estimate that closed road rallying for a limited number of approximately 20 events a year, could deliver substantial benefit to local areas, particularly in the low season, of between £20m and £60m a year

Why is this idea important?

Throughout Europe (and also in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man), ‘closed road’ events bring great benefit to the local communities in terms of tourism, economic prosperity and sporting kudos. The UK is at a disadvantage and is not able to reap these benefits because s.12(1), of the Road Traffic Act 1988, makes it an offence for a person to promote or take part in a race or trial of speed between motor vehicles on a public way. Though it is understandable that this legislation is directed at preventing dangerous and unregulated races and speed trials, properly monitored events can be both safe and enjoyable.  Instead of abolishing the legislation completely the new UK government could provide a mechanism to deliver a Temporary Suspension Order (in association with local authorities) that would enable a limited annual number of ‘closed road’ events to take place in England, Wales and Scotland, with the associated benefits for the regions selected. Previous studies undertaken on behalf of the Jim Clark Rally, put the figure for that one event in excess of £3m – this leads the MSA to estimate that closed road rallying for a limited number of approximately 20 events a year, could deliver substantial benefit to local areas, particularly in the low season, of between £20m and £60m a year

restore pedestrians rights

pedestrians rights have been eroded following government and local government policies to encourage cycling.  the current laws in place that cyclists are expected to follow should be enforced, and pedestrians should be given rights and the ability to be able to identify cyclists and ensure they are swiftly proesecuted.

Why is this idea important?

pedestrians rights have been eroded following government and local government policies to encourage cycling.  the current laws in place that cyclists are expected to follow should be enforced, and pedestrians should be given rights and the ability to be able to identify cyclists and ensure they are swiftly proesecuted.

Extended role for traffic wardens

Would it not be a valuable consideration that traffic wardens should be obliged to check vehicle tax discs. Individuals have already broken the law by not having one. More seriously, they are likely not to have any car insurance either.

Why is this idea important?

Would it not be a valuable consideration that traffic wardens should be obliged to check vehicle tax discs. Individuals have already broken the law by not having one. More seriously, they are likely not to have any car insurance either.

Freedom?

In Britain the goverment are fond of using words like freedom, in reality what freedom do we really have? We are told what we can say or write, in our schools we are told what we can eat, we are virtually told what we can think. We have speed cameras spying on us we have number plate recognition cameras, we have cameras spying on parking, we have cameras spying on us in the High Street all under the guise of "For Your Safety", "For Your Protection". I am not against cameras in accident black spots or near school entrances but in moderation. I think the Goverment should rethink laws that impinge on personal opinions or preferences. Local Councils and Police should rethink their distribution of cameras and get ride of most of them that are simply just money raisers or spies.

Why is this idea important?

In Britain the goverment are fond of using words like freedom, in reality what freedom do we really have? We are told what we can say or write, in our schools we are told what we can eat, we are virtually told what we can think. We have speed cameras spying on us we have number plate recognition cameras, we have cameras spying on parking, we have cameras spying on us in the High Street all under the guise of "For Your Safety", "For Your Protection". I am not against cameras in accident black spots or near school entrances but in moderation. I think the Goverment should rethink laws that impinge on personal opinions or preferences. Local Councils and Police should rethink their distribution of cameras and get ride of most of them that are simply just money raisers or spies.

Amend the destination for revenue from speed cameras

Speeding fines are a form of voluntary tax – anyone who doesn't want to pay them can simply stick to the speed limit and they will not be fined.  Given that the offences take place in a local area why not allow local authorities to collect the revenue generated by this voluntary tax and invest it in their local area – either generally or perhaps with a hypothecated purpose of road repairs.

Why is this idea important?

Speeding fines are a form of voluntary tax – anyone who doesn't want to pay them can simply stick to the speed limit and they will not be fined.  Given that the offences take place in a local area why not allow local authorities to collect the revenue generated by this voluntary tax and invest it in their local area – either generally or perhaps with a hypothecated purpose of road repairs.

Removal of the 70 mph motorway limit.

The 70 mph motorway limit is a relic of the past. Introduced in 1965 when cars lacked the modern safety features that almost every car on Britain's roads today have.  Today most drivers ignore the limit anyway, so why not scrap it completely? At the very least it should be raised.

The autobahn system in which an advisory speed limit of 80 mph is set is very effective and there is no noticeable difference in casualties between German autobahns and British motorways. The fact is for many days of the year it is perfectly safe for a vehicle to travel at speeds greater than 70 mph. And for those days where it isn't? Well I'm sure the British public have the ability to exercise some degree of common sense.

Why is this idea important?

The 70 mph motorway limit is a relic of the past. Introduced in 1965 when cars lacked the modern safety features that almost every car on Britain's roads today have.  Today most drivers ignore the limit anyway, so why not scrap it completely? At the very least it should be raised.

The autobahn system in which an advisory speed limit of 80 mph is set is very effective and there is no noticeable difference in casualties between German autobahns and British motorways. The fact is for many days of the year it is perfectly safe for a vehicle to travel at speeds greater than 70 mph. And for those days where it isn't? Well I'm sure the British public have the ability to exercise some degree of common sense.

drink driving laws

to remove the criminal record for people convicted of drink driving offences. drink driving should be a motoring offence and unless reapet offending or excessively over the limit should not make criminals of people who had no way of knowing they were over the limit in the first place. its the only law you can break without knowing and should therefore be treated in a different more sensitive way. i'm not talking about people who are three times over the limit and know their drunk but people who are 5-10 points say over the limit and had no idea when they got into their car they were breaking the law.

Why is this idea important?

to remove the criminal record for people convicted of drink driving offences. drink driving should be a motoring offence and unless reapet offending or excessively over the limit should not make criminals of people who had no way of knowing they were over the limit in the first place. its the only law you can break without knowing and should therefore be treated in a different more sensitive way. i'm not talking about people who are three times over the limit and know their drunk but people who are 5-10 points say over the limit and had no idea when they got into their car they were breaking the law.

Repeal or part repeal Dartford Crossing Tolls

The tailbacks on both sides of the Dartford Crossing are now almost guaranteed for long parts of the day. Indeed sometimes they are queud back miles to Jn 3 or 4 on the south side and Jn 28 or Jn 29 on the North side. Even on a weekend the queue is at least 30 minutes duration.

The fees were supposed to be abolished when the crossings were finished, but have not been. I understand that some money is needed for maintenance and I also understand that the government receive a substantial income from the crossing.

My idea is therefore to repeal the toll. If this is not practical then as soon as the tailback reaches a certain length, the barriers open automatically and traffic is allowed to flow freely until the backlog is cleared upon which time the barriers close and fees are taken again. This would allow income still to be collected, but would allow traffic to move.

 

Why is this idea important?

The tailbacks on both sides of the Dartford Crossing are now almost guaranteed for long parts of the day. Indeed sometimes they are queud back miles to Jn 3 or 4 on the south side and Jn 28 or Jn 29 on the North side. Even on a weekend the queue is at least 30 minutes duration.

The fees were supposed to be abolished when the crossings were finished, but have not been. I understand that some money is needed for maintenance and I also understand that the government receive a substantial income from the crossing.

My idea is therefore to repeal the toll. If this is not practical then as soon as the tailback reaches a certain length, the barriers open automatically and traffic is allowed to flow freely until the backlog is cleared upon which time the barriers close and fees are taken again. This would allow income still to be collected, but would allow traffic to move.

 

DVLA data: stop misuse

The data that car owners are required to give to the government, rightly, should not be sold on to car park companies, "civil enforcement" racketeers and clamping cowboys. Their access should be retricted to searches paid for, if need be, in the course of civil proceedingsd, properly restricted, not just handed out to those who want to make a profit out of the public.

Why is this idea important?

The data that car owners are required to give to the government, rightly, should not be sold on to car park companies, "civil enforcement" racketeers and clamping cowboys. Their access should be retricted to searches paid for, if need be, in the course of civil proceedingsd, properly restricted, not just handed out to those who want to make a profit out of the public.

A Consistent National Parking Policy For Motorcyclists

Local authorities have their own individual policies for motorycyle parking,  Some authorities allow free parking in metered bays for motorcyclists.  Others, such as Liverpool city council don't, and you will get a fixed penalty, even though there is no prominent signages on their bays..  LIverpool CC's Civil Enforcement Offiers did sticker some motorcylists when they changed the rules but that's not much use to visitors who are getting caught out by a lack of proper signage in parking bays,   

Why is this idea important?

Local authorities have their own individual policies for motorycyle parking,  Some authorities allow free parking in metered bays for motorcyclists.  Others, such as Liverpool city council don't, and you will get a fixed penalty, even though there is no prominent signages on their bays..  LIverpool CC's Civil Enforcement Offiers did sticker some motorcylists when they changed the rules but that's not much use to visitors who are getting caught out by a lack of proper signage in parking bays,   

Generate Revenue by putting Advertisement Boards on Motorways/Other Roads

Idea is to generate revenue by putting advertisement boards on motorways. There are a couple of ways this can be achieved in my opinion.

  1. Place small advert boards (2 feet width by 4 feet length – obviously this can be standardised to any size which is ideal for maintenance, etc.) on the light poles, which are in the middle of the motorways, at a safe height which can be easily replaced with minimum disruption to the motorists.
  2. Place large advert boards by the side of the motorways – the placement of these should be given some thought so they can be best and easily viewed by the motorists without diverting too much of their attention away from their driving.

Instead of generating revenue the same advert boards method can also be used to generate public awareness about anything the government wants really. In fact, the government can use a combination of both. From example, in some areas they can use advert boards to generate revenue and in others to generate public awareness.

Why is this idea important?

Idea is to generate revenue by putting advertisement boards on motorways. There are a couple of ways this can be achieved in my opinion.

  1. Place small advert boards (2 feet width by 4 feet length – obviously this can be standardised to any size which is ideal for maintenance, etc.) on the light poles, which are in the middle of the motorways, at a safe height which can be easily replaced with minimum disruption to the motorists.
  2. Place large advert boards by the side of the motorways – the placement of these should be given some thought so they can be best and easily viewed by the motorists without diverting too much of their attention away from their driving.

Instead of generating revenue the same advert boards method can also be used to generate public awareness about anything the government wants really. In fact, the government can use a combination of both. From example, in some areas they can use advert boards to generate revenue and in others to generate public awareness.

50MPH for Lorries

As a supermarket HGV Driver and regular user of the Thrapston to Peterborough road, I am convinced that this particular road as weel as many othere A roads should be raised to 50MPH for all HGV's.

Why is this idea important?

As a supermarket HGV Driver and regular user of the Thrapston to Peterborough road, I am convinced that this particular road as weel as many othere A roads should be raised to 50MPH for all HGV's.

Make the Highways Agency 4x4s be in a different colour to Police Patrols!

Even been on the motorway when it suddenly slows down to 50mph all because someone ahead saw a highways agency 4×4, assumed it was the police and instinctively braked even though they were doing 70mph anyway?! Next thing you know, the entire rush hour traffic is doing 50mph on a motorway.  Brilliant.  

I think the vehicles should not be allowed to have their livery that close to Police.  The refelctive battenberg squares and the lights on top (thats you cant tell arent blue until your 1 metre away) and the fact that 'Traffic Officer" is in the same font and size on the back bumper!!  

You get the smug look as you pass them too, the look of 'yeah, you thought I was a copper'.  So I give them the look back of 'Yeah, if I didnt get into the Police I wouldn't pretend".  

 

Why is this idea important?

Even been on the motorway when it suddenly slows down to 50mph all because someone ahead saw a highways agency 4×4, assumed it was the police and instinctively braked even though they were doing 70mph anyway?! Next thing you know, the entire rush hour traffic is doing 50mph on a motorway.  Brilliant.  

I think the vehicles should not be allowed to have their livery that close to Police.  The refelctive battenberg squares and the lights on top (thats you cant tell arent blue until your 1 metre away) and the fact that 'Traffic Officer" is in the same font and size on the back bumper!!  

You get the smug look as you pass them too, the look of 'yeah, you thought I was a copper'.  So I give them the look back of 'Yeah, if I didnt get into the Police I wouldn't pretend".  

 

Investigation versus Traffic Delay.

Coach Driver’s Quote: "if they possibly can they’ll close both carriageways for a broken wing mirror”.

 

A SUMMARY OF THE PROBLEM:

Many of us have strong views on drink driving, speeding etc. Traffic delays due to accidents and road works cause major annoyance and legislation fuelled by frantic press demands pours out weekly.

This said, many of our current motoring problems stem directly from this very pressure and government response. Health and safety, political correctness and over zealous forensic investigation (just because we can) merely add to the problem. Clearly our police officers, highway workers and other emergency personnel are entitled to safe working conditions and none of us would disagree with their oft-expressed desire “to go home alive at the end of our shifts”.

We hear daily on radio that two, three or four motorway sections have been shut down completely, slip roads closed, lanes reduced or rolling road blocks put in force…….and why?  An accident, a caravan on its side, a lorry jack-knifed, a fire on the hard shoulder, an object on the carriageway, a fuel or chemical spillage, road works, a vehicle in contact with a bridge, an unexplained police incident, an investigation and other recurrent explanations.

Sometimes it is hoped to have the carriageway open “in a day or two”, “by this time tomorrow,” “by tonight or in a few hours” and meanwhile traffic tails back, becomes trapped and the people involved are unable to go about their normal lives for intolerable periods. Millions of working hours are lost, tragic social costs incurred, valuable vehicles and machinery immobilised and costly fuel wasted.

Years ago when a road accident occurred, the injured were released by the fire brigade if trapped and taken away by ambulance; police chalked the position of the vehicles and then obtained details of the drivers, vehicles and witnesses and arranged for recovery; the road was then re-opened. In the event of a fatality, photographs would be taken and the Coroner informed. Other formalities were dealt with in a safely parked patrol car or police station and the scene fully examined later. Keeping the highway open was a major priority!

 

MY IDEA IS INITIALLY TO ESTABLISH:

How many drivers the subject of these long forensic investigations and health and safety measures actually come to court, are convicted and banned for life; how many return to the motorway to repeat their offences? 

How many lives are saved?  How is the phenomenal cost of all this inconvenience measured against improved driving standards?

What is the justification for hours of repetitive research into the ******** obvious?

Should there be a new offence or civil redress for selfish third parties causing unnecessary delay on a public highway by anti-social or seriously incompetent driving?

Does anyone know?

 


WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

This whole subject needs thorough independent examination but the following possible solutions might be worth consideration:

 

  • A Highway Complaints Authority should be initiated like the Police Complaints Commision.
  • A Senior Emergency Officer should be placed in command of every incident likely to cause more than minor (say 15 minutes) delay and required to account formally for excessive periods. A 35 mile tailback should require automatic and full independent investigation .
  • Apart from prosecutions under the RTAs for causing death, dangerous & careless driving etc. a new offence of causing unnecessary obstruction and delay to other road users should be introduced.
  • Individuals suffering significant loss and expense should have easy redress against such offenders for resultant loss and damage and insurers required to underwrite them in their motor policies.
  • Vehicles and equipment should be cleared from the carriageway immediately (with Crown Indemnity for damage) by heavy-duty recovery vehicles on stand-by 24/7 under the supervision of the new yellow and black Traffic Department.
  • The obstructing vehicle(s) or equipment would then have to wait to be removed from the hard-shoulder, hedge, ditch etc. till overnight or whenever safety and traffic conditions permitted but at the expense of those responsible for it’s immobility…….certainly not from the public purse.

 

MY ATTACHMENT is a reply to a very similar enquiry I made to my  Member of Parliament from the Department for Transport, last July. Not surprisingly, it provides an excellent summary of and justification for the status quo, but it fails miserably to answer my actual questions:

" How many drivers the subject of these long forensic investigations and health and safety measures actually come to court, are convicted and banned for life; how many return to the motorway to repeat their offences? How many lives are saved? How is the phenomenal cost of all this inconvenience measured against improved driving standards? What is the justification for hours of repetitive research into the ******** obvious? Should there be a new offence or civil redress for causing unnecessary delay on a public highway by anti-social driving?"

The Under Secretary's reply begs the further question,

"is it not time and of sufficient national importance for there to be an overreaching authority responsible to the public for ensuring the Queens Highway is kept unobstructed at all times by default and monitor all these "judgements" by individuals?"
 


Please see the Attachment correspondence.

Why is this idea important?

Coach Driver’s Quote: "if they possibly can they’ll close both carriageways for a broken wing mirror”.

 

A SUMMARY OF THE PROBLEM:

Many of us have strong views on drink driving, speeding etc. Traffic delays due to accidents and road works cause major annoyance and legislation fuelled by frantic press demands pours out weekly.

This said, many of our current motoring problems stem directly from this very pressure and government response. Health and safety, political correctness and over zealous forensic investigation (just because we can) merely add to the problem. Clearly our police officers, highway workers and other emergency personnel are entitled to safe working conditions and none of us would disagree with their oft-expressed desire “to go home alive at the end of our shifts”.

We hear daily on radio that two, three or four motorway sections have been shut down completely, slip roads closed, lanes reduced or rolling road blocks put in force…….and why?  An accident, a caravan on its side, a lorry jack-knifed, a fire on the hard shoulder, an object on the carriageway, a fuel or chemical spillage, road works, a vehicle in contact with a bridge, an unexplained police incident, an investigation and other recurrent explanations.

Sometimes it is hoped to have the carriageway open “in a day or two”, “by this time tomorrow,” “by tonight or in a few hours” and meanwhile traffic tails back, becomes trapped and the people involved are unable to go about their normal lives for intolerable periods. Millions of working hours are lost, tragic social costs incurred, valuable vehicles and machinery immobilised and costly fuel wasted.

Years ago when a road accident occurred, the injured were released by the fire brigade if trapped and taken away by ambulance; police chalked the position of the vehicles and then obtained details of the drivers, vehicles and witnesses and arranged for recovery; the road was then re-opened. In the event of a fatality, photographs would be taken and the Coroner informed. Other formalities were dealt with in a safely parked patrol car or police station and the scene fully examined later. Keeping the highway open was a major priority!

 

MY IDEA IS INITIALLY TO ESTABLISH:

How many drivers the subject of these long forensic investigations and health and safety measures actually come to court, are convicted and banned for life; how many return to the motorway to repeat their offences? 

How many lives are saved?  How is the phenomenal cost of all this inconvenience measured against improved driving standards?

What is the justification for hours of repetitive research into the ******** obvious?

Should there be a new offence or civil redress for selfish third parties causing unnecessary delay on a public highway by anti-social or seriously incompetent driving?

Does anyone know?

 


WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

This whole subject needs thorough independent examination but the following possible solutions might be worth consideration:

 

  • A Highway Complaints Authority should be initiated like the Police Complaints Commision.
  • A Senior Emergency Officer should be placed in command of every incident likely to cause more than minor (say 15 minutes) delay and required to account formally for excessive periods. A 35 mile tailback should require automatic and full independent investigation .
  • Apart from prosecutions under the RTAs for causing death, dangerous & careless driving etc. a new offence of causing unnecessary obstruction and delay to other road users should be introduced.
  • Individuals suffering significant loss and expense should have easy redress against such offenders for resultant loss and damage and insurers required to underwrite them in their motor policies.
  • Vehicles and equipment should be cleared from the carriageway immediately (with Crown Indemnity for damage) by heavy-duty recovery vehicles on stand-by 24/7 under the supervision of the new yellow and black Traffic Department.
  • The obstructing vehicle(s) or equipment would then have to wait to be removed from the hard-shoulder, hedge, ditch etc. till overnight or whenever safety and traffic conditions permitted but at the expense of those responsible for it’s immobility…….certainly not from the public purse.

 

MY ATTACHMENT is a reply to a very similar enquiry I made to my  Member of Parliament from the Department for Transport, last July. Not surprisingly, it provides an excellent summary of and justification for the status quo, but it fails miserably to answer my actual questions:

" How many drivers the subject of these long forensic investigations and health and safety measures actually come to court, are convicted and banned for life; how many return to the motorway to repeat their offences? How many lives are saved? How is the phenomenal cost of all this inconvenience measured against improved driving standards? What is the justification for hours of repetitive research into the ******** obvious? Should there be a new offence or civil redress for causing unnecessary delay on a public highway by anti-social driving?"

The Under Secretary's reply begs the further question,

"is it not time and of sufficient national importance for there to be an overreaching authority responsible to the public for ensuring the Queens Highway is kept unobstructed at all times by default and monitor all these "judgements" by individuals?"
 


Please see the Attachment correspondence.

Investigation versus Traffic Delay.

Coach Driver’s Quote: "if they possibly can they’ll close both carriageways for a broken wing mirror”.

 

A SUMMARY OF THE PROBLEM:

Many of us have strong views on drink driving, speeding etc. Traffic delays due to accidents and road works cause major annoyance and legislation fuelled by frantic press demands pours out weekly.

This said, many of our current motoring problems stem directly from this very pressure and government response. Health and safety, political correctness and over zealous forensic investigation (just because we can) merely add to the problem. Clearly our police officers, highway workers and other emergency personnel are entitled to safe working conditions and none of us would disagree with their oft-expressed desire “to go home alive at the end of our shifts”.

We hear daily on radio that two, three or four motorway sections have been shut down completely, slip roads closed, lanes reduced or rolling road blocks put in force…….and why?  An accident, a caravan on its side, a lorry jack-knifed, a fire on the hard shoulder, an object on the carriageway, a fuel or chemical spillage, road works, a vehicle in contact with a bridge, an unexplained police incident, an investigation and other recurrent explanations.

Sometimes it is hoped to have the carriageway open “in a day or two”, “by this time tomorrow,” “by tonight or in a few hours” and meanwhile traffic tails back, becomes trapped and the people involved are unable to go about their normal lives for intolerable periods. Millions of working hours are lost, tragic social costs incurred, valuable vehicles and machinery immobilised and costly fuel wasted.

Years ago when a road accident occurred, the injured were released by the fire brigade if trapped and taken away by ambulance; police chalked the position of the vehicles and then obtained details of the drivers, vehicles and witnesses and arranged for recovery; the road was then re-opened. In the event of a fatality, photographs would be taken and the Coroner informed. Other formalities were dealt with in a safely parked patrol car or police station and the scene fully examined later. Keeping the highway open was a major priority!

 

MY IDEA IS INITIALLY TO ESTABLISH:

How many drivers the subject of these long forensic investigations and health and safety measures actually come to court, are convicted and banned for life; how many return to the motorway to repeat their offences? 

How many lives are saved?  How is the phenomenal cost of all this inconvenience measured against improved driving standards?

What is the justification for hours of repetitive research into the ******** obvious?

Should there be a new offence or civil redress for selfish third parties causing unnecessary delay on a public highway by anti-social or seriously incompetent driving?

Does anyone know?

 


WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

This whole subject needs thorough independent examination but the following possible solutions might be worth consideration:

 

 A Highway Complaints Authority should be initiated like the Police Complaints Commision.

 A Senior Emergency Officer should be placed in command of every incident likely to cause more than minor (say 15 minutes) delay and required to account formally for excessive periods. A 35 mile tailback should require automatic and full independent investigation .

 Apart from prosecutions under the RTAs for causing death, dangerous & careless driving etc. a new offence of causing unnecessary obstruction and delay to other road users should be introduced.

 Individuals suffering significant loss and expense should have easy redress against such offenders for resultant loss and damage and insurers required to underwrite them in their motor policies.

 Vehicles and equipment should be cleared from the carriageway immediately (with Crown Indemnity for damage) by heavy-duty recovery vehicles on stand-by 24/7 under the supervision of the new yellow and black Traffic Department.  

The obstructing vehicle(s) or equipment would then have to wait to be removed from the hard-shoulder, hedge, ditch etc. till overnight or whenever safety and traffic conditions permitted but at the expense of those responsible for it’s immobility…….certainly not from the public purse.
 


 
 


 

Why is this idea important?

Coach Driver’s Quote: "if they possibly can they’ll close both carriageways for a broken wing mirror”.

 

A SUMMARY OF THE PROBLEM:

Many of us have strong views on drink driving, speeding etc. Traffic delays due to accidents and road works cause major annoyance and legislation fuelled by frantic press demands pours out weekly.

This said, many of our current motoring problems stem directly from this very pressure and government response. Health and safety, political correctness and over zealous forensic investigation (just because we can) merely add to the problem. Clearly our police officers, highway workers and other emergency personnel are entitled to safe working conditions and none of us would disagree with their oft-expressed desire “to go home alive at the end of our shifts”.

We hear daily on radio that two, three or four motorway sections have been shut down completely, slip roads closed, lanes reduced or rolling road blocks put in force…….and why?  An accident, a caravan on its side, a lorry jack-knifed, a fire on the hard shoulder, an object on the carriageway, a fuel or chemical spillage, road works, a vehicle in contact with a bridge, an unexplained police incident, an investigation and other recurrent explanations.

Sometimes it is hoped to have the carriageway open “in a day or two”, “by this time tomorrow,” “by tonight or in a few hours” and meanwhile traffic tails back, becomes trapped and the people involved are unable to go about their normal lives for intolerable periods. Millions of working hours are lost, tragic social costs incurred, valuable vehicles and machinery immobilised and costly fuel wasted.

Years ago when a road accident occurred, the injured were released by the fire brigade if trapped and taken away by ambulance; police chalked the position of the vehicles and then obtained details of the drivers, vehicles and witnesses and arranged for recovery; the road was then re-opened. In the event of a fatality, photographs would be taken and the Coroner informed. Other formalities were dealt with in a safely parked patrol car or police station and the scene fully examined later. Keeping the highway open was a major priority!

 

MY IDEA IS INITIALLY TO ESTABLISH:

How many drivers the subject of these long forensic investigations and health and safety measures actually come to court, are convicted and banned for life; how many return to the motorway to repeat their offences? 

How many lives are saved?  How is the phenomenal cost of all this inconvenience measured against improved driving standards?

What is the justification for hours of repetitive research into the ******** obvious?

Should there be a new offence or civil redress for selfish third parties causing unnecessary delay on a public highway by anti-social or seriously incompetent driving?

Does anyone know?

 


WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

This whole subject needs thorough independent examination but the following possible solutions might be worth consideration:

 

 A Highway Complaints Authority should be initiated like the Police Complaints Commision.

 A Senior Emergency Officer should be placed in command of every incident likely to cause more than minor (say 15 minutes) delay and required to account formally for excessive periods. A 35 mile tailback should require automatic and full independent investigation .

 Apart from prosecutions under the RTAs for causing death, dangerous & careless driving etc. a new offence of causing unnecessary obstruction and delay to other road users should be introduced.

 Individuals suffering significant loss and expense should have easy redress against such offenders for resultant loss and damage and insurers required to underwrite them in their motor policies.

 Vehicles and equipment should be cleared from the carriageway immediately (with Crown Indemnity for damage) by heavy-duty recovery vehicles on stand-by 24/7 under the supervision of the new yellow and black Traffic Department.  

The obstructing vehicle(s) or equipment would then have to wait to be removed from the hard-shoulder, hedge, ditch etc. till overnight or whenever safety and traffic conditions permitted but at the expense of those responsible for it’s immobility…….certainly not from the public purse.
 


 
 


 

How to reduce motorcycle deaths

Councils and Governments have tried everything incliuding cameras and stupidly low speed limit reductions to reduce biker deaths. These all cost a lot of money and don't seem to be working.

A simple solution could be gravel traps on the corners of roads that are known to be dangerous. Like the ones on race tracks that stop bikes at over 200mph allowing the rider to walk away in many cases.

These are cheap and  would help to stop the bike and rider from coming into contact with trees and walls, as these are the things that cause injury and death. Cars would also benifit from this saftey feature on our roads in the event of leaving the road.

People may claim that bikers especially will ride faster because it is safer. They might, but does this mean we should remove all the air bags and seat belts from cars ?

This has got to be worth a trial, somewhere in the country.

Why is this idea important?

Councils and Governments have tried everything incliuding cameras and stupidly low speed limit reductions to reduce biker deaths. These all cost a lot of money and don't seem to be working.

A simple solution could be gravel traps on the corners of roads that are known to be dangerous. Like the ones on race tracks that stop bikes at over 200mph allowing the rider to walk away in many cases.

These are cheap and  would help to stop the bike and rider from coming into contact with trees and walls, as these are the things that cause injury and death. Cars would also benifit from this saftey feature on our roads in the event of leaving the road.

People may claim that bikers especially will ride faster because it is safer. They might, but does this mean we should remove all the air bags and seat belts from cars ?

This has got to be worth a trial, somewhere in the country.

Section 67 Natural Environment & Rural Communities Act 2006

Remove this legislation and allow vehicles to continue using green lanes that they have historically used.

THE HISTORY BEHIND THE ACT

 

County Highway authorities had a legal duty from 1949 and1968 to record highways (including old tracks and trails) to clarify who had a legal right to use it. It would be either a Footpath: for pedestrians, Bridleway: for pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists or, less well advertised BYWAY: for pedestrians, horse riders, cyclists and motor vehicles (often 4 wheel drives and motorcycles)

 

Many county councils did not do that task so the complicated situation continued. There was a legacy of confusion about rights of way within local authorities, user groups, the police, land owners and others.

 

Government saw the need to sort out the confusion and gave users the chance to claim use of the lanes as BYWAY by proving the history of use. In the meantime all green lanes or Roads Used As Public Pathways (RUPPS) were classed as Restricted Byways. That immediately made it illegal to use a motor vehicle on them. Some may be reclassified as Byway after an enquiry but others may be Bridleway and, therefore lost forever to motor vehicles.

 

At about the same time the Ramblers Association managed to acquire The Right To Roam which extended their freedom to explore the countryside. Conversely a minority group of motorcyclists lost their freedom to explore the green lanes they had used.

 

UNDESIRABLE EFFECTS

 

Having ridden motorcycles on green lanes or Roads Used As Public Pathways (RUPPS) for decades these were effectively, in one foul swoop made illegal. The effect was to ban the use of these lanes by vehicles and wipe out a hobby, pastime completely in some areas; for example Exmoor in Somerset.

 

The remaining lanes that can be ridden legally have now to cope with increased use as the previously dispersed users are forced to concentrate their activities in a smaller number of tracks.

 

Some Byways are now cul-de-sac as there is no link between sections.

Why is this idea important?

Remove this legislation and allow vehicles to continue using green lanes that they have historically used.

THE HISTORY BEHIND THE ACT

 

County Highway authorities had a legal duty from 1949 and1968 to record highways (including old tracks and trails) to clarify who had a legal right to use it. It would be either a Footpath: for pedestrians, Bridleway: for pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists or, less well advertised BYWAY: for pedestrians, horse riders, cyclists and motor vehicles (often 4 wheel drives and motorcycles)

 

Many county councils did not do that task so the complicated situation continued. There was a legacy of confusion about rights of way within local authorities, user groups, the police, land owners and others.

 

Government saw the need to sort out the confusion and gave users the chance to claim use of the lanes as BYWAY by proving the history of use. In the meantime all green lanes or Roads Used As Public Pathways (RUPPS) were classed as Restricted Byways. That immediately made it illegal to use a motor vehicle on them. Some may be reclassified as Byway after an enquiry but others may be Bridleway and, therefore lost forever to motor vehicles.

 

At about the same time the Ramblers Association managed to acquire The Right To Roam which extended their freedom to explore the countryside. Conversely a minority group of motorcyclists lost their freedom to explore the green lanes they had used.

 

UNDESIRABLE EFFECTS

 

Having ridden motorcycles on green lanes or Roads Used As Public Pathways (RUPPS) for decades these were effectively, in one foul swoop made illegal. The effect was to ban the use of these lanes by vehicles and wipe out a hobby, pastime completely in some areas; for example Exmoor in Somerset.

 

The remaining lanes that can be ridden legally have now to cope with increased use as the previously dispersed users are forced to concentrate their activities in a smaller number of tracks.

 

Some Byways are now cul-de-sac as there is no link between sections.