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‘If you want to save lives, reverse the cuts in traffic police’ says RoadPeace report

England and Wales has lost a quarter of its traffic police outside London since 2010

A new report from the national road victims' charity, RoadPeace, says that cuts to traffic policing have come with a rise in the numbers of vulnerable road users killed and seriously injured, and a decrease in prosecutions for the more serious driving offences.

Our Lawless Roads is a detailed report on road policing, casualties and driving offences in England and Wales since 2010.

It states that the number of pedal cyclists killed or serious injured rose by 21 per cent between 2010 and 2015 and the case is made that this is likely to have been the result of ongoing road policing cuts.

In her foreword, Green Party peer and RoadPeace Patron Jenny Jones points out that since austerity started in 2010, England and Wales has lost over a quarter of its traffic police in areas outside of London.

Inevitably, this has also come with a big drop in the enforcement of driving offences by officers on the road and a decline in the prosecution of cases requiring investigation, court appearances and police time.

Fall in road offences due to reduction in traffic police says Transport Committee

The number of drivers prosecuted for causing a death by driving has declined far faster than the number of fatal collisions and Jones writes: “Either the standard of driving has improved dramatically since 2010 or there is a link between the decline in the number of drivers prosecuted and the cuts to police numbers and the resources for collision investigation.”

She goes on to highlight a steadily increasing focus on crimes that can be addressed by electronic enforcement, such as speeding, and says that this goes alongside a decline for offences that require an officer on the street.

She adds: “This has been accompanied by a massive shift towards the use of driver education courses, rather than penalty points and fines. The scale of this shift needs to be questioned as the evidence for the effectiveness of these courses has yet to be determined.”

She concludes by saying: “The lesson is clear. If you want to save lives and prevent injuries on the road you need to reverse the cuts in traffic police numbers.”

The sentiment has been echoed by Cycling UK’s Duncan Dollimore, who said: “Unless people think, as the Transport Select Committee identified last year, that there is a realistic prospect they will be caught, and that there are real consequences for failing to stop when a cyclist or other vulnerable road user has been injured, the situation is unlikely to improve.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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BehindTheBikesheds | 6 years ago

you wouldn't need road policing so much if government stopped handing out driving licenses like confetti

you wouldn't need road policing so much if government forced all drivers to sit enhanced driving tests weeding out the ones that are simply not capable/have the wrong attitude, sense of entitlement.

You wouldn't need so much road policing if you restricted the speeds/acceleration of all motorvehicles

You wouldn't need so much policing if you made it much much more difficult to drive anywhere in towns and cities if not complete bans and made cycling/walking easier and safer for the masses on bike aged 5-105.

You wouldn't need so much road policing if judges and the legal system didn't keep letting off/letting off lightly motorists for killing human beings/infractions of the law when caught.

You wouldn't need so much road policing if the police didn't basically just stick two fingers up to you when reporting crimes acted out by motorists and with hard evidence.

These are all far easier/more effective solutions than trying to police after the fact, i.e. chasing down those that break the law. You change the mindset of those presenting the harm and their capability to do harm either by restriction or removal.

I would also advocate removing all airbags, seatbelts, ABS, traction control and anything else that motorists deem as safety aids.

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