Godfrey Bloom says speeding "has nothing to do with accidents", considers standing for Westminster

DfT figures beg to differ

by John Stevenson   November 26, 2013  

Godfrey Bloom

Colourful European Parliament member Godfrey Bloom says speed has nothing to do with accidents, and Britain’s 30 million drivers are “the most oppressed group of people” in the country. He’s considering running for election to the UK Parliament as an MP for fringe pressure group the Drivers’ Union.

The former UKIP MEP now sits in Brussels as an independent. He left UKIP earlier this year after saying that a group of female party members who did not clean behind their fridges were “sluts”.

Now he is taking aim at the police and road safety charities for their emphasis on the role of speeding in road crashes.

He said: “Speed is not the offence. In law the offence is driving without due care and attention or reckless driving.

“Speeding on its own is meaningless. It has nothing to do with accidents.”

According to Department for Transport statistics, exceeding the speed limit was a factor in 194 fatal crashes in 2012, and a further 1,295 that resulted in serious injuries. A driver travelling too fast for the conditions was cited as a contributory factor in 183 fatal collisions.

Mr Bloom claims to have evidence that speed cameras are placed to raise revenue.

He said: “The police can set a trap for you and then they can intimidate you into taking one of their profit-making driving courses. I don’t know of anything else in the British constitution where the police can suspend prosecutions in exchange for money.”

And he doesn’t like the way road safety charities “make their points using the grieving mothers of road accident victims.

“You get these emotional women talking about how their child has been killed. But those people are killed because the driver wasn’t driving with due care and attention.”

As executive patron of the Drivers’ Union, Bloom has associated himself with an organisation whose founder, Keith Peat has claimed that road design “induces” drivers to speed, and who argues against 20 mph speed limits by claiming that “every 1 mph we slow road transport is about 2-3 billion a year from the economy.”

Unsurprisingly, then, Bloom also opposes 20mph speed limits, which he claims have made the streets less safe.

He said: “The extension of 20mph zones is actually causing more accidents.

“Pedestrians aren’t paying the same level of attention and, for drivers, it’s difficult to maintain a speed under 20mph. You have people looking at the dashboard, making sure the needle’s at 19mph, rather than the road.”

However, he said he had not yet decided to run for Parliament he was “just getting my feet under table” at the Drivers’ Union, but added: “I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.”

92 user comments

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deblemund wrote:
Weird. How do trolls find stories like this? Google alerts maybe? Losers.

In Keith 'Sedgepeat' Peat's case, I assume he has a google alert for his name.

Maybe we should do what the old Cycling Plus forum used to do with Paul Smith of Safespeed and auto-replace his name.

John Stevenson's picture

posted by John Stevenson [1193 posts]
26th November 2013 - 23:37

26 Likes

Sedgepeat wrote:
Incorrect. We are ex police advanced drivers.

Who's the "we"? Are you more than one person? Please explain.

posted by Joeinpoole [303 posts]
27th November 2013 - 0:32

13 Likes

This man is not being pro-driver.

He is being pro-speed, and he's doing it because of his usual inability to analyse a situation and his enthusiasm for populist support.

I am a driver, I have driven around half a million miles since I started driving. I am also a cyclist having cycled around a quarter of a million miles since I started cycling. Like most cyclists I'm not one of two tribes. Like all drivers and all cyclists I am a road user.

And as a road user I understand that speed in a motor vehicle above the limit is always wrong and the limits are intended to be the fastest speed at which we may drive. I also realise, as most people do when they stop and think, that often conditions (eg. road surface conditions, weather, visibility and traffic volume etc) mean that the appropriate speed to drive at is somewhere below the legal limit.

As a road user, whether driving or cycling, I am put at risk by idiots making the assumption that they are safe to drive at speeds which are obviously too high to be appropriate. When I'm cycling that risk is greater.

As a road user I'm also acutely aware that lowering the limit to 20mph in urban areas has a significant effect on lowering casualties. In fact, as a motorist, I would support any motoring group that had the guts to face reality and campaign for 20mph limits on all urban roads. That would be pro-driver because it would protect themselves and protect them from getting involved in hurting other road users (including the substantial number of pedestrians killed on pavements each year by motor vehicles).

The only reason that drivers find it difficult to drive below 20mph is that they've been trained to drive to a 30mph limit. It doesn't take long to get used to the new limit where it already exists and you certainly don't need to be watching the needle (and if you do you need to re-evaluate your driving skills).

As a road user I get put at risk by idiots I am quite justified in getting annoyed about that. And I'm totally at liberty and justified in calling such drivers idiots and am happy to extend that label to Godfrey Bloom.

Shay

posted by shay cycles [245 posts]
27th November 2013 - 0:39

21 Likes

It's like falling:
Falling has nothing to do with accidents. It's hitting the ground that hurts.

posted by pique [18 posts]
27th November 2013 - 7:48

23 Likes

If you analyse the causes of fatal road traffic collisions involving cyclists, it's abundantly clear that the type of driver being denigrated here hardly features in the stats. The driving errors and omissions that are killing cyclists are either failure to observe the cyclist, or misjudging the cyclists path or speed. Exceeding the speed limit is not the recognised primary cause in the vast majority of cases.

The risks that I've listed can be reduced through concentration, awareness and anticipation - vital road safety skills that are not helped by being asked to divert much of your attention away from your driving to ensure rigid speed limit adherence.

So, in our knee-jerk demands for stricter application and enforcement of speed limits, we may actually be making the urban road system much less safe for cyclists.

posted by Kendal Brat [5 posts]
27th November 2013 - 8:52

20 Likes

Drivers Union claim that they are 'the voice of reason' for 30 million drivers. Their twitter page show that they have 218 followers and have sent over 7,500 tweets. That's a hell of a lot of noise and not much light.

Given that their views are followed by less than 0.00001% of their possible 'constituency' on twitter I say let democracy take it's course. As it stands it seems like no-one's listening to what they have to say anyway Thinking

posted by woollee23 [92 posts]
27th November 2013 - 9:26

15 Likes

Sedgepeat wrote:
It is this myth about 'speeding' that generates so much profit for the Speeding Industry. It's explained here. http://bit.ly/HaR59V

1993 called, it wants its web design back.

posted by David Portland [89 posts]
27th November 2013 - 9:29

23 Likes

ricolek wrote:
Good job Godfrey! Finally someone said it. I'm sick of cyclists who think they are better than car drivers or just cyclists who don't know how to behave on roads. Which is a vast majority, at least where I live.

So, other than the road situation, what is La La Land like?

posted by farrell [1563 posts]
27th November 2013 - 9:32

14 Likes

According to KP, I'm the anti-Christ.

I had to block his various personas on Twitter; life is too short.

Carlton Reid's picture

posted by Carlton Reid [110 posts]
27th November 2013 - 11:09

13 Likes

We do have a constitution but not a codifide one like the Americans have.
Ours is made up of Statue law and legal precedent.

Dapper Giles's picture

posted by Dapper Giles [54 posts]
27th November 2013 - 11:42

14 Likes

Geoffrey Bloom's self appointment as a "Drivers' Champion" is brilliant news for cyclists. I can't wait for him to cast some of his special magic on the motoring lobby's campaigning!

posted by kcr [74 posts]
27th November 2013 - 11:59

9 Likes

Yes indeed, BUT the risks that you've listed are all reduced where the speed of the vehicle is reduced.

Failure to observe is less likely when taking more time to make a manouvre (commensurate with lower speed).

Misjudgements are less likely to have serious impacts when the speed of the vehicle is lower.

Finally when failure to observe and misjudgements result in a collision the consequences of that are likely to be less serious when the speed is lower.

That must be why so many people feel that lower limits would generally improve safety.

Simple really!

Shay

posted by shay cycles [245 posts]
27th November 2013 - 12:34

13 Likes
zanf's picture

posted by zanf [592 posts]
27th November 2013 - 12:49

9 Likes

As an ex Black Rat (similar it seems to KP) all I can say is that this sentence of SC's is so fundamentally important that it bears repeating.

Misjudgements are less likely to have serious impacts when the speed of the vehicle is lower.

In my day (early '90s) being on an advanced course was effectively an opportunity to learn to get from A to B as fast as the prevailing circumstances allowed. 30s and 40s were sacrosanct, but anything above was fair game to treat as a minimum dependent upon road conditions. I won't tell you the max speed I achieved on the course, it scares me to this day. It was an amazing experience and I would like to think that my training meant that in subsequent years I was able to arrive 'on scene' more quickly and safely than the vast majority of other drivers on the road would have been able to do. It's a little like being God. And that is the problem. It appears that some advanced-trained drivers think they are incapable of misjudgement.

Recently, I've been going down to London for meetings quite often. When I get the opportunity I always walk through Admiralty Arch and go to the National Police Memorial. Written on the Roll of Honour there is the name of a friend of mine who died in a road traffic accident, which occurred as he was being driven by another of my friends to assist another of my friends, who had called for urgent assistance. I like to pass on my respects.

Speed + misjudgement = elevated risk of fatal consequences

It appears that some people think they can beat the roulette wheel...every time.

Utter ******g hubris

posted by Hasis [37 posts]
27th November 2013 - 13:29

13 Likes

As any capable and honest driver/rider will tell you speed is not the problem but it can be a factor in accidents. Inappropriate speed is the problem no matter whether you are on a bike or in a car. The need for speed limits is only there because most people have no idea what 'appropriate speed' is so the law tries to guide us these days. The biggest problem is the muppets who fail to consider other road users.

Alg

posted by alg [132 posts]
27th November 2013 - 13:37

15 Likes

alg wrote:
As any capable and honest driver/rider will tell you speed is not the problem but it can be a factor in accidents. Inappropriate speed is the problem no matter whether you are on a bike or in a car. The need for speed limits is only there because most people have no idea what 'appropriate speed' is so the law tries to guide us these days. The biggest problem is the muppets who fail to consider other road users.

One thing you fail to consider with the phrase appropriate speed, the speed at which a 2CV can take a corner compared to that an Veyron can. Drive both at a speed in which you can safely stop on a corner and the speeds of both cars will differ massively. By having limits you get around car capability as well.

But yes most drivers haven't a clue what is safe, and that is the scariest thing about roads and traffic.

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1296 posts]
27th November 2013 - 13:44

15 Likes

Speed is a 'factor' in all accidents including walking into a telegraph pole.

'Speeding' is not a factor even if present. It's the act of too fast at any speed will be a factor. Don't mix 'speed' with 'speeding'. That's what the Speeding Industry want you to do. I have gone to a great deal of trouble to explain this in detail here. http://bit.ly/QlE23D

KP

Road safety 'experts' are often folk who's CV doesn't cut the mustard.

posted by Sedgepeat [64 posts]
27th November 2013 - 15:02

12 Likes

Again. Why is pro driver translated to anti cyclist with you? Has he said anything against cyclists?

Are you saying drivers have no say in their affairs at all? You are definitely part of a tribe with that comment.

As it happens Godfrey is referencing experts with the correct CV which BRAKE, RACF, PACTS, Edmund King don't have.

I was asked by a TV interviewer why Godfrey would be good for Road Safety and the answer?..... 'Thats why I am on now. Because of Godfrey Bloom'. Watch this space. Laughing

KP

Road safety 'experts' are often folk who's CV doesn't cut the mustard.

posted by Sedgepeat [64 posts]
27th November 2013 - 15:10

12 Likes

This guys a bleedin' Nutter ! Rolling On The Floor

Endorphines going up and adrenaline going down, who needs drugs?

posted by banzicyclist2 [248 posts]
27th November 2013 - 15:11

16 Likes

zanf wrote:
I wonder if Keith Peat is anything like Keith Lard? We'll have to ask Keith Peats Dog

Fine. I can handle ridicule very easily. There is nothing intelligent in it to fret about and means I am on the right track.

KP

Road safety 'experts' are often folk who's CV doesn't cut the mustard.

posted by Sedgepeat [64 posts]
27th November 2013 - 15:12

12 Likes

Oh I see now. A 'troll is someone with a valid point of view that you cannot fault but simply don't like? Thank God for democracy and free speech I say. Smile

Road safety 'experts' are often folk who's CV doesn't cut the mustard.

posted by Sedgepeat [64 posts]
27th November 2013 - 15:15

9 Likes

Sedgepeat wrote:
zanf wrote:
I wonder if Keith Peat is anything like Keith Lard? We'll have to ask Keith Peats Dog

Fine. I can handle ridicule very easily. There is nothing intelligent in it to fret about and means I am on the right track.

KP

If you put as much effort into web design as you do the monumental outpouring of crap you spout, then your website wouldn't be a 90's looking monstrosity.

zanf's picture

posted by zanf [592 posts]
27th November 2013 - 15:15

12 Likes

I think the average driver is just about competent. What worries me is that, by definition, half of all drivers are below even this derisory standard.

Mike

mike the bike's picture

posted by mike the bike [158 posts]
27th November 2013 - 15:23

11 Likes

Hey Sedgepeat. I love your 'myth busting' page here:

http://kspeat.magix.net/website#/Cycling%20in%20Europe:%20Myths%20exposed

Amazing.

.

posted by hanuman [12 posts]
27th November 2013 - 15:34

11 Likes

hanuman wrote:
Hey Sedgepeat. I love your 'myth busting' page here:

http://kspeat.magix.net/website#/Cycling%20in%20Europe:%20Myths%20exposed

Amazing

FFS

posted by Hasis [37 posts]
27th November 2013 - 15:42

11 Likes

Hasis wrote:
hanuman wrote:
Hey Sedgepeat. I love your 'myth busting' page here:

http://kspeat.magix.net/website#/Cycling%20in%20Europe:%20Myths%20exposed

Amazing

FFS

I've got some photos of European cities with bicycles in. Some of them are road bikes. Does that disprove his photos? I'm I myth busting his myth busting?

posted by hanuman [12 posts]
27th November 2013 - 15:47

13 Likes

Ahem.. *Am* I?...

posted by hanuman [12 posts]
27th November 2013 - 15:49

10 Likes

Oddly enough, the bit on the driver's union website about cycling says that when cyclists ride faster there is an increased risk of crashing.

Err, shurely shome mishtake?

The website design looks similar to the one my old company used back in the 1990s.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2288 posts]
27th November 2013 - 15:57

14 Likes

I'm unfortunate enough to have to share a county with Keith Peat and although I agree with the sentiment about denying him the oxygen of publicity I also think it's important that he's outed as the horrible, gloating, flat earther that he is.

He tried to present himself as reasonable on this site and as some kind of advocate for drivers. But that's just not the case. He was publically rebuked by the Lincolnshire Echo for leaving 'ghoulish' comments on their web-page reporting the death of a cyclist in Spalding. He advised drivers not to cooperate with the police in the immediate aftermath of an accident following another cycling incident in Horncastle. Presumably only if the other party was a cyclist - maybe you can answer that Keith? This isn't pro-driver, its simply anti-cyclist.

I do not understand why our local media in Lincolnshire continue to give him air time. He heads a group of three people, himself, a guy called Jan and now ol' Godders. But they do, and he frequently gets the opportunity to spout his bullshit on air, whenever he does we have to call 'bullshit' back on him.

I'm glad Bloom has joined them, it shows up the 'Drivers Union' for the irrelevance they actually are. Keith, I hope you put the deposit up for Godfrey's election yourself - I'll enjoy watching you lose it.

posted by Gingerphil [2 posts]
29th November 2013 - 14:15

9 Likes

I'm a particular fan of the photo of Liege, the one with the silver Ford Galaxy, which shows that Liege isn't a cycling city...............

The photo was taken on the autoroute. (Top tip Keith, airbrush the blue signs next time, they're a dead giveaway) Rolling On The Floor

posted by Gingerphil [2 posts]
29th November 2013 - 14:23

10 Likes