“For many years I have become uncomfortable with the lack of basic understanding of road safety concepts. Politicians generally understand very little about anything. They have no formal training, have to re-seek office regularly, they knee jerk reaction to problems originally often of their own making. Honesty is usually a bar to re-election. Masterly inactivity is alien to the politician`s creed. He must be seen to ‘do something’, however idiotic.
Road safety problems manifest this phenomenon particularly. Activity is always cost based. It is the nature of the beast. So government gets rid of the highly trained and motivated British traffic policeman, acknowledged to be the best in the world, because they were deemed too expensive. Not only are cameras on sticks cheaper, they actually make money. This enormous scam, equalled only by wind turbines, is a political dynamic allowed to flourish by astonishingly lazy journalism. Well, this sort of thing is a reflection of modern society.
However, infinitely more alarming, is that the police have now bought into the scam. Local politicians and policeman of senior rank have no training in interpreting statistics. They are therefore prey to every camera (snake oil) salesman that comes up their drive. They will glaze over if you talk of regression to the mean, or the implications of a Simpson`s paradox. In short you can sell them anything. Resources therefore go to the wrong place. The speed awareness lecturers read from flawed scripts to bewildered middle England drivers who were ‘nicked’ for doing 34mph in a 30mph district, and blackmailed into handing over cash to avoid a potentially damaging licence endorsement.
These lectures should be given (with a better script) to lower sixth form children one year away from their first car. Young men still kill themselves in appalling numbers while their parents waste half the day listening to the drone of the classroom bore who means well but understands nothing.
I have ploughed an independent field on this subject, with little success, as middle England morale is now so low they respond to almost nothing save the dinner gong.
The Alliance of British Drivers have given me fresh hope. Their expertise is enormous and in depth. They and a few others are joining the fight back for motorists against the money grabbing establishment, fake charities and fellow travellers. I am proud to be a patron. ”
Karl was born in Birkenhead in 1968, lived on the Wirral and was educated at Birkenhead School for Boys and Neston High School. He then lived in Reading before starting his first degree in geography at St David's College, Lampeter, where he was student union president and captained the Welsh Universities' football team.
Karl started his full time working life in London in 1992 where he worked in various roles including in the City of London. He completed his second degree, an MBA, at Kingston University Business School in 1999, and specialised as a Management Consultant for a number of clients and agencies since then. Karl has been a Councillor, a school governor at various schools, and a magistrate since 1999.
Karl moved to Lincolnshire after being selected to fight the Lincoln seat in 2004, and reduced the Labour majority with one of the largest swings in the Country. Five years later a swing of nearly 6 per cent saw him take the seat of Lincoln back from Labour after thirteen years, at his second attempt in 2010.
As a keen driver, classic car enthusiast and being well aware of the importance of transport infrastructure, one of the issues that Karl is passionate about is car insurance and uninsured drivers. He recently undertook a survey on his website, asking his constituents for their views on whether fines in the county are high enough for those caught and prosecuted for driving an uninsured vehicle. He has also raised this issue in Parliament on a number of occasions and wants to see offenders receive more proportional penalties.
Karl is married with two sons, likes cooking, all sports, fell-walking and classic cars, including owning a 1959 Land Rover.
I am delighted to have been appointed by the Association of British Drivers as patron. Since I was elected as the MP for Morecambe & Lunesdale in May of last year, I have been working hard to get a better deal for motorists and to improve the transport infrastructure in my constituency.
I drive a 1989 Nissan 300 ZX which I have had from new. In fact I bought it when I was a songwriter. Rusty, my car is my pride and joy. My enthusiasm for cars has also meant that I have been appointed to the all-party Parliamentary classic car group. One of my constituents, Peter Yates, is a Rolls-Royce collector and has Morecambe's most famous son's car — Eric Morecambe's Rolls Royce, which he is currently restoring. I hope that one day it will be on show in the Eric Morecambe Museum that I'm campaigning to open.
There are so many issues facing the modern motorist. Undoubtedly fuel pricing is the biggest issue for all of us at the moment. When I see Mums and Dads at the pump filling ordinary family cars and it costs £60 or more, this is the alarm bell that says we must do something. However, I hasten to add that it was the former Labour Government's last legacy to us as well as the huge deficit.
Recently, I tabled a Parliamentary motion calling on the Government to introduce a fuel stabiliser. I believe this would be a step in the right direction and would provide certainty in fuel prices. Take for example the hauliers in Morecambe & Lunesdale. Over the last few years it has been impossible for them to predict the price of fuel from one week to the next. If you don't know what your overheads are, it's virtually impossible to work out your haulage price and make a profit. Recently the Chancellor said that he will look at this and I suspect we will know more when the budget is delivered later this month.
I also am an avid viewer of Top Gear. I can remember Jeremy Clarkson suggesting that the speed limit should be fixed to speed cameras. This I think would assist motorists to know the speed limit and would ensure that cameras are there 'if appropriate' to advise and save lives, not as revenue machines. These thoughts were tabled as a Parliamentary motion in January which I hope has met with Mr. Clarkson`s approval.
For those who are not familiar with the geographical location of my constituency, Morecambe & Lunesdale is in North Lancashire on the North West coast. There are so many amazing places to see such as Sunderland Point, the Eric Morecambe Statue and the Lune Valley, which is one of the most beautiful areas of countryside you will ever see. In recent years, the difficulty motorists have experienced is that in order to drive into the constituency drivers have to pass through the city of Lancaster. The huge volume of traffic has meant that the roads cannot cope and this leads to long delays.
There has been a plan for many years to build a link road into the constituency from the M6. When the coalition Government came into office a decision was taken to postpone such projects. I spent a lot of time talking to Transport Minister Mike Penning MP in the tea rooms and was delighted when the announcement was made that the link road is to be built.
This means that hauliers will not have to pass through the City of Lancaster to get to the Port of Heysham. The drive will just be a few minutes from the M6; importantly it means the transport infrastructure is there for Morecambe & Lunesdale to prosper as an area of tourism. The bigger picture is that this is good for the local economy. As long as I am the MP for Morecambe & Lunesdale I will fight on behalf of motorists.
Glenys Roberts is a Conservative councillor for West End ward in the City of Westminster.
She told us" “I think I have had more pleasure driving in my time than practically anything else.”
UKIP's Transport spokesman Jill Seymour says she is honoured to have been made a patron of the Alliance of British Drivers.She was invited to take up the position after speaking out against the 'persecution' of British drivers, to the group's annual meeting, held at the motor museum in Gaydon, Warwickshire.
The Alliance of British Drivers (ABD) is a voluntary and non-profit-making organisation which aims to provide an active, responsible voice lobbying on behalf of Britain's 'beleaguered' motorists. It campaigns on a wide range of driving issues, independent of any vested interest, and is not afraid to tackle government or councils when members feel drivers are being treated as 'a cash cow to be milked at will'.
Mrs Seymour, one of UKIP's three West Midlands MEPs, said: “This organisation, and a few other individuals, are working hard to protect the motorist from the overbearing governments, not least the European Union.
As I sit on the transport committee in Brussels, I'm afraid I only see an escalating war on the motorist, with hardly anyone defending their interest in politics.
I'm fed up in seeing a 'not fit for purpose' road network of poor quality, with low maintenance, over signage, excessive use of cameras and traffic lights.
It is a network that is increasing journey times, slowing traffic down, encouraging 'stop/start driving' and causing more carbon emissions — this aggravates drivers, and encourages more aggressive driving due to time constraints and pressures of work.
Much of the general public do not know where this legislation and regulation comes from, and are unable be express an opposition.
Therefore it is the duty of organisations such as the Alliance of British Drivers to campaign on their behalf to protect our fellow motorists.
I am honoured to have been invited to become a patron, and am delighted to accept. We must carry on the fight, inform our fellow motorists, and campaign against the European Union - and our own Government - on their relentless war and persecution of the motorist.”
Sammy Wilson is the Democratic Unionist Party MP for East Antrim.
He served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Belfast East from 1998 until 2003, and for East Antrim from 2003 until 2015.
He served as Lord Mayor of Belfast in 1986 – 1987 and again from June 2000 to June 2001.
He told us: "I am honoured to be a patron of the ABD."