Manifesto

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Just Zis Guy, Jan 26, 2003.

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  1. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    I should know better, I suppose - having posted a comment on uk.tosspot regarding the appallingly
    inadequate sentencing of the woman who killed a cyclist recently (£135 and six points), I ended up
    arguing the toss with Paul "Mr Safety" Smith about how the cyclist had clearly brought it on
    himself, the sentence was perfectly proper, and stiffer sentences were no part of the answer, only
    higher driver skills would do (and of course drivers are all queueing up at the advanced driver
    training centres because the fines for negligent driving are so high. not).

    So I put finger to keyboard and came up with a few thoughts. I would value your constructive input.

    <http://www.chapmancentral.com/Web/public.nsf/Documents/Safer_Roads_Manifesto>

    Full text posted as a reply. Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
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  2. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    Full text of <http://www.chapmancentral.com/Web/public.nsf/Documents/Safer_Roads_Manifesto>

    =====================================================================

    Arguments ramble on, as ever, about who is to blame for gridlock and chaos on Britain's roads.
    Essentially the problem is that people want to drive cars. Claims that people would use public
    transport if it were better / cheaper / more reliable usually boil down to a belief that /other/
    people would then use it, freeing the roads for those who are obviously far too important to share
    space with someone who might, after all, be smelly.

    In the mean time there is an ever widening gulf between the promise and the reality of car travel.
    Adverts tell us that if we buy the Satsuma MX-7 Turbo we'll spend our lives tooling round mountain
    passes in perpetual sunshine with Kim Basinger at our side. Small wonder that when we buy the car
    and discover that we are still locked in the same traffic jam on our own in the pouring rain, only
    now losing money even faster due to depreciation, tempers fray.

    Traffic Tantrums
    ================
    I say small wonder, but actually there is a conundrum here. The British are, for the most part, a
    supine race: if someone pushes into the supermarket queue in front of us we are more likely to write
    a letter to the paper demanding that the Government do something about the queue-jumping menace than
    we are to actually confront the offender. This reserve seems to vanish as soon as we sit in our
    cars. Traffic tantrums ("road rage" sounds far more mature; tantrums is what they are) are becoming
    more common - we are prepared to fight, occasionally to the death, for a few feet of road.

    Cyclists, of course, have largely opted out of this madness. The common perception of cyclists as
    "Lycra louts" is almost entirely an invention of the newspapers, based on journalists' experience of
    a small part of central London where bike couriers work. These couriers used to use motorcycles (and
    were almost uninsurable as a result of the incredible accident rate). Now even motorbikes can't move
    in the gridlock and they've started using bikes, using carriageway and pavement interchangeably.
    They are no more representative of cyclists in general than minicab drivers are representative of
    motorists.

    But the constant air of barely suppressed anger on the roads is taking its toll on cyclists. There
    is a steady stream of reported cases where drivers have placed their own momentary personal
    convenience over the safety of other road users with fatal or near-fatal results. The problem, of
    course, is that most drivers have the vote and most voters drive, so Governments are unlikely to do
    anything to restrict the actions of motorists. There is no doubt that if the car were not useful it
    would not be tolerated. Road accidents are the leading cause of death in the under-16s in the UK
    today - and when we say "accidents" we mean incidents usually caused by negligence on one side or
    the other. Pedestrians are responsible for their own downfall in a relatively large proportion of
    cases - but this doesn't tell the whole story. Surely if you are driving past a school you should be
    prepared for children running out - they are children, after all, with an incompletely developed
    sense of danger and probably no road sense (less than 2% of children now cycle to school - where are
    the other 98% going to learn road sense?)

    Don't Mention Europe
    ====================
    In some European countries there is a presumption of fault against the driver of any car involved in
    a fatal or injury accident with a vulnerable road user. The driver has to prove that the other party
    was at fault (this applies, of course, only to civil cases, where the balance of probabilities is
    the test). The result is that they commonly have lower rates of cyclist and pedestrian fatalities
    than we do, despite (indeed partly because of) much higher levels of cycling an walking. Their
    highway regulations essentially tell drivers to expect pedestrians and cyclists to exhibit poor
    skills and anticipate this (as does our Highway Code, but it also tells drivers not to speed or park
    on yellow lines, and that can't be right, can it?). The premise on which this apparent anomaly is
    based is that the car is bringing virtually all the danger to the situation. Bikes and pedestrians
    can injure or kill each other in collisions, but it is vanishingly rare.

    Obviously any attempt to introduce this kind of system in the UK would be howled down by the Daily
    Mail and the Association of British Drivers, champions of safe driving and defenders of our right to
    break highway law without fear of prosecution (they see no conflict between these aims). A different
    approach is therefore required, one which includes both carrot and stick. Anything from Europe is
    necessarily intolerable (unless it's cheap booze - tax harmonisation is fine as long as we take the
    lowest rate for each particular tax), and anything which fails to recognise the absolute supremacy
    of the car is undermining the economy. Strangely the people who shout loudest about loss of British
    jobs when some measure of control over driving is suggested all tend to have their penis extensions
    built in Germany, which appears on first inspection to be in Europe and therefore the spawn of
    Satan, but apparently different rules apply in this case.

    So here is my manifesto, to be put in place as soon as I'm elected President of the Republic of
    Great Britain (sorry Ma'am).

    For Motorists

    Encouragement to reduce driving

    Cars are the problem. It's no use denying it: take all the buses, bikes, motorbikes and lorries off
    the streets of London and they would still be clogged. What's the difference between rush hour and
    off-peak? The number of cars. Not rocket science. So I propose a system of encouragements to switch
    modes and reduce driving mileage. This would begin with vehicle excise duty (VED) rebates for
    driving less than 5,000 miles per year, on the evidence of two consecutive MoT certificates (a
    special form indicating only mileage would be available for cars under 3 years old). There would be,
    of course, a penalty for fraudulent declarations, and a criminal offence of tampering with the
    odometer on a vehicle - which should also deter clocking. Mileage would be recorded on each VED
    application, so clocking would become immediately apparent. A declaration would be available for
    cases where the odometer is replaced, but this is of course rare.

    Encouragement to increase skills

    Those who do drive often drive poorly. I would make receipted costs of accredited advanced driver
    training courses (including goods vehicle courses) allowable against tax for all drivers. I would
    also allow traffic police to award certificates redeemable as a discount off VED where they see
    instances of exemplary driving, particularly where a driver's skill or forethought has avoided a
    crash. I would also restore free eye tests on the NHS. As a matter of urgency I would commission the
    development of a new two-stage driving test.

    Antisocial Behaviour

    There is a certain class of car driver who appears to assume that parking restrictions exist to
    ensure there is somewhere for them to park. This is unacceptable. Illegal parking would be subject
    to one penalty point per offence.

    The stick......

    Automatic short bans for causing death or injury due to negligence, which can at the discretion of
    the court be "traded" for attendance on a driver training course and /or passing an extended retest.
    Bad drivers will either be taken off the road for a while or trained to be better drivers. And
    compulsory retests every ten years, plus evidence of a sight test not more than two years old to be
    submitted with insurance applications.

    And the Carrot......

    Drivers' organisations will undoubtedly bleat about any increase in penalties for carelessness. How
    dare we infringe their right to drive their cars carelessly? Surely they can hardly be held to
    account for accidents, even if they are negligent. It's an accident. Not very convincing, but you
    should see the claptrap they keep coming up with to justify protesting against speed cameras. So a
    quid pro quo: 80mph limits on motorways, more variable limits around towns (20 limits only when
    lights flashing or whatever) and a study to see if some lengths of motorway are suitable for
    complete derestriction of speed. A key criterion would be the existence of a parallel route of good
    quality for those drivers who don't want to join a racetrack.

    For Motorcyclists

    Encouragement to ride motorcycles

    Motorbikes are environmentally desirable (compared to cars) and require less road space. Standards
    of riding are not always good, but this does tend to end in the death of the rider rather than some
    innocent bystander - nonetheless, the same tax allowance will be offered for any accredited
    motorcycle training. To encourage people to use motorcycles round town instead of cars I would
    introduce the following policies:

    - Removal of VAT on motorcycle clothing and helmets
    - Repeal of the helmet law (which has not reduced fatalities by any measurable degree)
    - Reduced VED bands for 4-stroke motorcycles with modest engines (defined by bhp)

    Motorcyclists do suffer a disproportionate casualty rate, and a disproportionately high rate of
    single-vehicle accidents. Additional tests may well be appropriate for those riding high power
    motorcycles. The periodic retest requirement will extend to motorcyclists, so that "born again
    bikers" will be required to demonstrate competence before being allowed to ride after a period
    off the bike.

    For Cyclists

    The bicycle is the most efficient vehicle on the planet, and offers unparalleled advantages for
    local urban transport. It has health benefits as well as environmental ones, so encouraging
    cycling is a double win. Levels of cycling are at a historic low in the UK at present, so much
    work is needed.

    Encouragement to cycle

    Many people have bikes, many others don't. Those who do have bikes often fail to maintain them or
    (to pick one common complaint) to fit lights. In order to encourage people to buy bikes, and having
    bought them, to equip them properly, I would remove VAT on all pedal cycles (not including electric
    assist or petrol assist cycles) and accessories. There is no appreciable UK-based component
    manufacturing industry, so low or zero rates of import duty would be applied to bicycles and bicycle
    components.

    Cycle Facilities

    Overall the safest place to ride is on the road, but some people are unhappy with riding amongst
    traffic. On the other hand, bikes and pedestrians mix poorly. Multi-use paths encourage pavement
    cycling and increase danger for both cyclists and pedestrians - they should be removed as soon as
    practicable unless the councils can make a compelling case for retention of any path. "Green
    Kleptonite" strips will be subject to a minimum width, and where they are used it will not be
    permitted for them to end within 20m of a junction.

    Bad Habits

    Among the bad habits which give cyclists a poor image are: riding without lights, riding on the
    pavement and jumping red lights. All are much less serious and with much lower injury rates than the
    common motoring offences, but should be addressed. Spot fines of, say £25 for no lights would be a
    useful deterrent. This is less than the cost of a set of basic lights. Ensuring that the fine
    remains higher than the cost of compliance is important in this case. Pavement cycling should be the
    subject of an education campaign - after all, shared use paths have been sending mixed messages.
    After a period for the message to sink in, pavement cycling by adults would carry the same penalty
    as no lights. And if the cycle is also found to be unroadworthy for other reasons, higher penalties,
    including seizure of the bike.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  3. Andy

    Andy Guest

    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I should know better, I suppose - having posted a comment on uk.tosspot regarding the appallingly
    > inadequate sentencing of the woman who killed a cyclist recently (£135 and six points), I ended up
    > arguing the toss with Paul "Mr Safety" Smith about how the cyclist had clearly brought it on
    > himself, the sentence was perfectly proper, and stiffer sentences were no part of the answer, only
    > higher driver skills would do (and of course drivers are all queueing up at the advanced driver
    > training centres because the fines for negligent driving are so high. not).
    >
    > So I put finger to keyboard and came up with a few thoughts. I would value your
    > constructive input.
    >
    >
    <http://www.chapmancentral.com/Web/public.nsf/Documents/Safer_Roads_Manifest
    o>
    >
    > Full text posted as a reply. Guy
    > ===
    > ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    > dynamic DNS permitting)
    > NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    > work. Apologies.

    I was expecting to slag you off before reading this as your general atitude to "cagers" seems rather
    holier-than-thou to me. But you've obviously spent some tme thinking about your manifesto and it
    seems very sensible. All I can say is - well done.
     
  4. Chris French

    Chris French Guest

  5. > I ended up arguing the toss with Paul "Mr Safety" Smith about how the cyclist had clearly brought
    > it on himself

    Oh I kill-filed one of the leading members of uk.tosspot a long time ago. He really is a deluded
    fool and sometimes they just have to be removed from polite society :)

    Cheers, helen s

    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Flush out that intestinal parasite and/or the waste product before sending a reply!

    Any speeliong mistake$ aR the resiult of my cats sitting on the keyboaRRRDdd
    ~~~~~~~~~~
     
  6. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith Guest

    On Fri, 17 Jan 2003 22:49:09 +0000, "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I should know better, I suppose - having posted a comment on uk.tosspot regarding the appallingly
    >inadequate sentencing of the woman who killed a cyclist recently (£135 and six points), I ended up
    >arguing the toss with Paul "Mr Safety" Smith about how the cyclist had clearly brought it on
    >himself, the sentence was perfectly proper, and stiffer sentences were no part of the answer, only
    >higher driver skills would do (and of course drivers are all queueing up at the advanced driver
    >training centres because the fines for negligent driving are so high. not).

    You're COMPLETELY misrepresenting me.

    Quotes from uk.transport:
    =======================================================

    Paul Smith 14/1/03 at 14:29

    You say the sentence was wrong, but the way the case is reported and the way the law stands, the
    sentence was reasonable. You should not be attacking the sentence.

    Attack the driving standards on which the sentence is based, and then I think we might be in
    complete agreement. Except we couldn't apply such a thing retrospectively. There's nothing at
    present in UK road traffic law, or in UK driver education, that makes failing to allow for another
    road user's mistakes "dangerous". I'd be happy if there was, but there isn't.
    ======================================================

    Paul Smith 15/1/03 at 11:06

    You've been attacking the sentence, which I think is wrong. The sentence was right(ish) given the
    law as it stands, and the way the law applies standards of driving.

    The law is probably OK, too. But I'd very much like to change the standards of driving throughout,
    which I expect would have a knock on effect on the law and sentencing.

    Three layers, each built on the one below...

    Layer 1: Standards of driving Layer 2: Road Traffic Law Layer 3: Sentencing

    I think layers 2 and 3 are probably largely OK, but layer 1 could use a big boost. If layer 1 did
    get a big boost, then it should be possible to convict future close overtakers of dangerous driving.

    You've been asking for changes in layer 3 and appear to hope that it might have a knock on effect on
    layer 1. I don't think it would make ANY difference EVER.

    Is that clear enough?
    ====================================================

    Paul Smith 17/1/03 at 07:29:

    I haven't once defended the driver. I have defended the reasonable application of the law, given the
    present context. I called for higher driving standards because I believe that's the only way to
    reduce the likelihood of this sort of accident.
    ====================================================

    You've consistently misrepresented or misunderstood the discussion we were having. And you've done
    it again here. Thanks.
    --
    Paul Smith Scotland, UK http://www.safespeed.org.uk please remove "XYZ" to reply by email Let's make
    speed cameras as unacceptable as drink driving
     
  7. Nick Kew

    Nick Kew Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, one of infinite monkeys at the keyboard of
    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >>This is much easier to achieve (roughly speaking), and would be made more progressive and fairer,
    >>by switching VED to fuel tax.

    Agreed.

    > I thought about that, but the annual VED thing has the beneficial effect of requiring people to
    > show an MoT and insurance certificate to someone.

    In Italy, you have to display two documents in your window: the tax disc (cost is on a sliding
    scale; small cars cheap, big expensive) and a similar document showing your insurance - which is a
    standard tearout in an italian motor insurance certificate.

    We could adopt something similar - if there was political will.

    Better perhaps - link insurance to smartcards, and require them to be used whenever the motorist
    buys petrol. Make the insurance industry liable to pay for roadkill/etc at a serious level, and give
    them powers of enforcement.

    --
    Wear your paunch with pride!
     
  8. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Fri, 17 Jan 2003 23:23:46 -0000, "Andy" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I was expecting to slag you off before reading this as your general atitude to "cagers" seems
    >rather holier-than-thou to me. But you've obviously spent some tme thinking about your manifesto
    >and it seems very sensible. All I can say is - well done.

    Well, thank you - I think :)

    Please remember, I am a cager, too. I have probably the cage of cages, a Volvo estate, complete
    with steel bars in the daytime sidelights - the ultimate mobile death greenhouse, in fact. I'm
    as disgusted with my own bahaviour behind the wheel as I am with everyone else's - at least as a
    regular cyclist I know how shitty it feels to be on the other end. But that's another much
    longer story.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  9. Andymorris

    Andymorris Guest

    Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
    > Full text of
    >
    <http://www.chapmancentral.com/Web/public.nsf/Documents/Safer_Roads_Manifest
    o>
    >
    > =====================================================================
    >
    >
    > Many people have bikes, many others don't. Those who do have bikes often fail to maintain them or
    > (to pick one common complaint) to fit lights. In order to encourage people to buy bikes, and
    > having bought them, to equip them properly, I would remove VAT on all pedal cycles (not including
    > electric assist or petrol assist cycles) and accessories.
    >

    And servicing?

    --
    Andy Morris

    AndyAtJinkasDotFreeserve.Co.UK

    Love this: Put an end to Outlook Express's messy quotes
    http://home.in.tum.de/~jain/software/oe-quotefix/
     
  10. James Annan

    James Annan Guest

    Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:

    > So I propose a system of encouragements to switch modes and reduce driving mileage. This would
    > begin with vehicle excise duty (VED) rebates for driving less than 5,000 miles per year, on the
    > evidence of two consecutive MoT certificates (a special form indicating only mileage would be
    > available for cars under 3 years old).

    This is much easier to achieve (roughly speaking), and would be made more progressive and fairer, by
    switching VED to fuel tax. This would also help to switch the costs fro fixed to marginal, therefore
    increasing the attractiveness of other modes of transport.

    James
     
  11. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith Guest

    On Fri, 17 Jan 2003 22:52:31 +0000, "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote:

    Congratulations for defining some of the arguments... Always a fine positive step forwards.

    A couple of glaring points for you to consider:

    >Full text of <http://www.chapmancentral.com/Web/public.nsf/Documents/Safer_Roads_Manifesto>

    >=====================================================================

    >Arguments ramble on...

    >Don't Mention Europe
    >====================
    >In some European countries there is a presumption of fault against the driver of any car involved
    >in a fatal or injury accident with a vulnerable road user. The driver has to prove that the other
    >party was at fault (this applies, of course, only to civil cases, where the balance of
    >probabilities is the test). The result is that they commonly have lower rates of cyclist and
    >pedestrian fatalities than we
    >do...

    RESULT???? Have you got ANY evidence at all for that bizarre idea?

    >Encouragement to reduce driving

    >Cars are the problem. It's no use denying it: take all the buses, bikes, motorbikes and lorries off
    >the streets of London and they would still be clogged. What's the difference between rush hour and
    >off-peak? The number of cars. Not rocket science. So I propose a system of encouragements to switch
    >modes and reduce driving mileage. This would begin with vehicle excise duty (VED) rebates for
    >driving less than 5,000 miles per year, on the evidence of two consecutive MoT certificates (a
    >special form indicating only mileage would be available for cars under 3 years old). There would
    >be, of course, a penalty for fraudulent declarations, and a criminal offence of tampering with the
    >odometer on a vehicle - which should also deter clocking. Mileage would be recorded on each VED
    >application, so clocking would become immediately apparent. A declaration would be available for
    >cases where the odometer is replaced, but this is of course rare.

    Why bother when even your 5,000 miles per year driver pays about 500 pounds each year in fuel tax.
    (at 30mpg) Actually I can't see much use for VED at all. Lower usage drivers get their benefits in
    lower fuel tax automatically and precisely without any extra admin overhead.
    --
    Paul Smith Scotland, UK http://www.safespeed.org.uk please remove "XYZ" to reply by email Let's make
    speed cameras as unacceptable as drink driving
     
  12. Peter B

    Peter B Guest

    "Paul Smith" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >>
    > You say the sentence was wrong, but the way the case is reported and the way the law stands, the
    > sentence was reasonable. You should not be attacking the sentence.

    IMHO the sentence is wrong because it makes life appear very cheap to most of the rest of us. The
    fact the lady never intended malice and hopefuly is full of remorse doesn't ease that emotion.

    Looking at it less emotionally here was someone in control of a piece of powerful machinery who made
    a poor decision that resulted in anothers death. The message needs bringing home that to be in
    control of potentially deady piece of equipment in a public place is a demanding responsibility with
    stiff penalties should safety be ignored for the sake of convenience. (As it is regarding health and
    safety in the workplace for example).

    Pete
     
  13. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Peter B <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > IMHO the sentence is wrong because it makes life appear very cheap to most of the rest of us. The
    > fact the lady never intended malice and hopefuly is full of remorse doesn't ease that emotion.

    The purpose of sentencing is punishment and deterrence, not retribution

    >
    > Looking at it less emotionally here was someone in control of a piece of powerful machinery who
    > made a poor decision that resulted in anothers death. The message needs bringing home that to be
    > in control of potentially deady piece of equipment in a public place is a demanding responsibility
    > with stiff penalties should safety be ignored for the sake of convenience. (As it is regarding
    > health and safety in the workplace for example).
    >

    There but for the grace of God. We are all human and make mistakes, most of them we are lucky
    and nothing untoward happens - I've had the occassional cold sweats driving - but sometimes
    we're not lucky. I don't know and haven't read the circumstances of this particular case but if
    you are perfect in all your judgements and decision making while driving or cycling I take my
    helmet off to you

    Tony

    http://www.raven-family.com

    "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" George
    Bernard Shaw.
     
  14. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith Guest

    On Sat, 18 Jan 2003 08:45:13 +0000 (UTC), "Peter B" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> You say the sentence was wrong, but the way the case is reported and the way the law stands, the
    >> sentence was reasonable. You should not be attacking the sentence.

    >IMHO the sentence is wrong because it makes life appear very cheap to most of the rest of us. The
    >fact the lady never intended malice and hopefuly is full of remorse doesn't ease that emotion.

    I quite understand, and I too would have liked to see a stiffer sentence. But I don't think it would
    be right to change sentencing policy itself.

    >Looking at it less emotionally here was someone in control of a piece of powerful machinery who
    >made a poor decision that resulted in anothers death. The message needs bringing home that to be in
    >control of potentially deady piece of equipment in a public place is a demanding responsibility
    >with stiff penalties should safety be ignored for the sake of convenience. (As it is regarding
    >health and safety in the workplace for example).

    What really happened in this case is that the lady driver failed to anticipate that the cyclist
    would wobble, collide, fall off and die. I can find nothing IN THE LAW that makes "failure to
    anticipate" dangerous. The law makes it that she carelessly ignored a Highway Code recommendation.

    If we could push for higher standards of driving such that anticipation of such basic things was
    required, then I think all would be satisfied, and all would be safer. If basic anticipation was
    demanded of drivers, then she could have been prosecuted for causing death by dangerous driving.
    --
    Paul Smith Scotland, UK http://www.safespeed.org.uk please remove "XYZ" to reply by email Let's make
    speed cameras as unacceptable as drink driving
     
  15. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith Guest

    On Sat, 18 Jan 2003 12:14:50 +0000, "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Sat, 18 Jan 2003 00:37:05 +0000, Paul Smith <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>>The result is that they commonly have lower rates of cyclist and pedestrian fatalities than we
    >>>do...
    >
    >>RESULT???? Have you got ANY evidence at all for that bizarre idea?
    >
    >Only DfT policy papers.

    No way. URL?
    --
    Paul Smith Scotland, UK http://www.safespeed.org.uk please remove "XYZ" to reply by email Let's make
    speed cameras as unacceptable as drink driving
     
  16. Pdannyd

    Pdannyd Guest

    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Sat, 18 Jan 2003 09:32:23 +0900, James Annan <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >This is much easier to achieve (roughly speaking), and would be made more progressive and fairer,
    > >by switching VED to fuel tax.
    >
    > I thought about that, but the annual VED thing has the beneficial effect of requiring people to
    > show an MoT and insurance certificate to someone.
    >
    > A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that the increase in fuel duty to cover the switch
    > would be around 7p-8p per litre, assuming average mileage. Hmmmm.

    My classic vehicles, which collectively I drive less than 5000 miles per year, still need tax disks
    but they are free. Charging a small administration fee (£20?) and putting the rest of the tax on
    fuel sounds reasonable to me.

    How about a very low basic fuel rate which is increased depending on whether the vehicle is
    politically desirable or not and also on how bad the driver is? Is that workable? It would mean each
    fuel station being tied into a vehicle database but as almost all fuel stations accept credit cards
    then this surcharge could be piggy-backed onto the payment.

    Anyway, this is a cycling newsgroup so how about trebling the cost of fuel and tax disks? ;-)
     
  17. Peter B

    Peter B Guest

    "Paul Smith" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > What really happened in this case is that the lady driver failed to anticipate that the cyclist
    > would wobble, collide, fall off and die. I can find nothing IN THE LAW that makes "failure to
    > anticipate" dangerous. The law makes it that she carelessly ignored a Highway Code recommendation.

    Whats the betting Paul that had she been faced with overtaking a tractor bouncing along on balloon
    tyres with a nasty agricultural implement sticking out that she would have allowed more room?

    Pete
     
  18. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Just zis Guy, you know? <[email protected]> wrote:
    > On Sat, 18 Jan 2003 09:09:45 -0000, "Tony Raven" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> The purpose of sentencing is punishment and deterrence, not retribution
    >
    > Then explain the difference in sentencing between common assault, ABH, GBH and manslaughter,
    > all of which can result from precisely the same action and are entirely dependent on the degree
    > of injury.

    They are steadily rising levels of offence and the punishment rises with the severity of the offence

    >
    >> There but for the grace of God.
    >
    > That is precisely the attitude which I would argue against. It ignores the fact that we owe a duty
    > of care to other road users. It presumes that lapses of concentration and deciding to take risks
    > which impact more on others than on ourselves os perfectly reasonable, and it's only bad luck when
    > it ends in tears.
    >

    I'm pleased for you. I wish I could be perfect but I can only aspire to be like you and to have
    never made a mistake or misjudgement on the road. OTOH it would not have helped in two close calls I
    had. Both involved unlit cyclists in dark clothing on unlit road and dark nights. I luckily caught a
    glint off the metalwork of their bikes in both cases (one at a junction, one pulling away from the
    kerb with cyclist approaching from behind). I could oh so easily have been looking in another
    direction at the time the glint occurred. In both cases I would have been at fault if I had hit
    them. How would you have judged me if I had hit them? Was I taking a risk? I guess you get out of
    your car with a torch at every junction to check for unlit cyclists. I know you do take risks so at
    what level of risk does it become acceptable to take it?

    Tony

    http://www.raven-family.com

    "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" George
    Bernard Shaw.
     
  19. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith Guest

    On Sat, 18 Jan 2003 12:58:21 +0000, "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Sat, 18 Jan 2003 09:18:33 +0000, Paul Smith <[email protected]> wrote:

    >>What really happened in this case is that the lady driver failed to anticipate that the cyclist
    >>would wobble, collide, fall off and die.

    >And who could possibly have predicted that it would happen? After all, there is nothing to indicate
    >that this possibility exists other than a couple of rules in the Highway Code (and who reads that?)
    >and a bit of common sense.

    Any genuinely good driver would anticipate the risk and avoid going close enough to cause
    the problem.

    That's my point. We don't require drivers to be "good".

    The Highway Code anticipates the problem and advises a decent gap, but failing to follow a Highway
    Code recommendation is simply careless. That's why the court sentenced as it did.
    --
    Paul Smith Scotland, UK http://www.safespeed.org.uk please remove "XYZ" to reply by email Let's make
    speed cameras as unacceptable as drink driving
     
  20. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith Guest

    On Sat, 18 Jan 2003 15:20:05 -0000, "Michael MacClancy" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >"Paul Smith" <[email protected]> wrote

    >> snipped If we could push for higher standards of driving such that anticipation of such basic
    >> things was required, then I think all would be satisfied, and all would be safer. If basic
    >> anticipation was demanded of drivers, then she could have been prosecuted for causing death by
    >> dangerous driving.

    >I think that the sort of anticipation required in this situation is fully within the scope of the
    >current driving test. Basic anticipation is a prerequisite of anyone on the road, whether driver,
    >pedestrian or cyclist.

    I agree. The law does not.

    >Face the facts. This woman was overtaking the cyclist and didn't cross the white line. I would
    >suggest that there aren't many roads where that is possible whilst still allowing the cyclist
    >adequate space. Secondly, she admitted that she should have stayed behind. The evidence in the
    >report suggests she was driving dangerously. The penalty should be a ban and a compulsory retest.
    >What's so extreme about that?

    She wasn't legally driving dangerously. That's why she was convicted of DWDCA.

    I'd rather she had been convicted of CDBDD. But the law wouldn't have allowed it given the
    circumstances. I don't think it's the law that's wrong, however, but the driving standards on which
    the law is based.
    --
    Paul Smith Scotland, UK http://www.safespeed.org.uk please remove "XYZ" to reply by email Let's make
    speed cameras as unacceptable as drink driving
     
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