UK pedestrian road traffic accident causation statistics [Ref.1] consistently indicate that 65% [Ref.1] of pedestrian fatalities and serious pedestrian injuries are precipitated by the pedestrian “jumping, running, stepping or walking into the carriageway without due care and attention”. All the remaining reported factors also indicate a responsibility deficit on the the part of pedestrians – including 9% alcohol and drug-related. In many cases, distraction through hand-held mobile ‘phone may be a further, unreported contributory factor.
So far from motorised road users putting vulnerable ones at risk, it can very reasonably be argued that the reverse is often the case.
But the ETSC (European Transport Safety Council), in recent comments, erroneously continues to squarely put the blame for accidents on drivers, even if they are not at fault.
They were quoted as saying:
“As long as people don’t feel safe walking and cycling in our towns and cities, many will be discouraged from using the most sustainable modes of transport. This can create a vicious circle because people who take the car instead put all the vulnerable road users around them at greater risk”.
ETSC’s utterly incredible, anti-personal mobility stance shows just how divorced from reality so-called European “road safety professionals” have become.
And does the European road safety industry have any plans to try to reverse this long-standing, blatantly evident deficiency in vulnerable road user education highlighted above? No, instead it’s advocating a no-blame culture for pedestrians; whilst piling yet more regulation and responsibility on motorised ones.
While there are numerous laws applicable to the behaviour of pedestrians and cyclists on the UK’s roads, rarely are they enforced. In contrast, the enormous body of regulation applicable to UK drivers and PTW riders is invariably 100% enforced to the limit of the applicable law. The situation is similar throughout Europe.
Colossal sums are, meanwhile, being made annually from what has degenerated, in the name of road safety, into the thinly-disguised fiscal persecution of motorised road users.
The ABD has been calling for the creation of a permanent, entirely independent and objective UK Road Accident Investigation and Prevention Board. This body would:
- Be tasked with fully investigating the causes of road accidents and implementing effective preventative measures
- Be staffed by personnel with a genuine (marine/ aviation) accident investigation background; i.e. with no vested interest in “policing for profit”
- Mandate that all speed limit setting be according to sound, 85th Percentile, road safety science
- Be responsible for restoring appropriate emphasis on road user education and road-use skills training
- Discontinue all financial rewards from speed enforcement operations and speed awareness courses for camera partnerships, local authorities and all unregulated private organisations, and
- Be mandated to take account of the views of the millions of ordinary, annually accident-free UK road users in drawing up road safety policy.
- Road Casualties Great Britain 2017, Table RAS50004, p.271