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Want to see road safety improved? Here’s how you can help


11:20 am - November 22nd 2011

by Paul Cotterill    


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When I was a kid, my father was killed as he rode home from work. He was hit by a lorry turning left. The driver didn’t see him in his blind spot. The lives of my family, but also that of the driver’s family, were changed for the worse in a split second.

32 years on, a 10 minute bill sponsored by Alan Beith MP goes to its second reading on Friday 25th November.

The Road Safety Act 2011, which you can help support, would:

a) require the fitting of equipment to heavy goods vehicles to eliminate driver blindspots and aid driver awareness of cyclists, pedestrians and other road users in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle;

(b) make other regulations to ensure drivers are trained in using safety equipment as fitted to their vehicles, to improve the safety of cyclists, pedestrians and other road users.

Alan’s initiative follows the death of one of his constituents, on a London road in 2009, in which the circumstances were similar to my father’s.

It also comes shortly after two deaths at the same point on Bow Interchange in London.

Of course there may be arguments against the bill, arguing that this is yet another expense for haulage firms in difficult times. (Interestingly, when the matter was the subject of an Early Day Motion earlier this year, 114 MPs signed the motion.)

Against this argument, there is the obvious. 2,500 cyclists are killed or badly injured every year. It’s always seemed odd to me that there is relatively massive investment in rail safety, for example, when a much smaller number are killed or injured on this transport (not that I begrudge this), while cycle deaths and injuries just seem to remain regarded as the collateral damage of our transport system.

This Bill won’t stop cyclists being killed, but it is an important step in the right direction.

If readers do get a chance – perhaps linking to this – I’d be grateful for a quick email to your MP, especially to those in London who will be more likely to be around on Friday, asking them to support the bill. Jeremy Corbyn supported the bill at the first reading, and Emily Thornberry seconded the EDM earlier this year, so perhaps they might be asked to tweet this post to other MP they know are around.

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About the author
Paul Cotterill is a regular contributor, and blogs more regularly at Though Cowards Flinch, an established leftwing blog and emergent think-tank. He currently has fingers in more pies than he has fingers, including disability caselaw, childcare social enterprise, and cricket.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Crime

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Reader comments


1. Dick the Prick

Will do.

Expanding the field of view of the driver increases the amount they have to take in, and needs to be accompanied by a reduction in the time they’re allowed to drive (at least in cities), though. Without that, it’s asking for an increase in ROAD accidents, and simply shifting the casualties.

cant you do one of those epetition things. I’ll support it.

@ 2

claptrap. I have a PCV and looking in your blindspot is time consuming. Such equipment will really help drivesr.

You are spouting garbage, no doubt you are one of those nit twits from the ABD.

@ 2

claptrap

I have a PCV licence and looking in your blindspot is time consuming. The equipment will strongly assist the driver.

No doubt you a member of the nasty ABD, FTA or some such public spirited org becaue you are talking drivel.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Mossley Hill Labour

    Want to see road safety improved? Here’s how you can help http://t.co/SWp0jo0E

  2. Pink Politika

    Want to see road safety improved? Here’s how you can help http://t.co/SWp0jo0E

  3. SylviaWalker

    Want to see road safety improved? Here’s how you can help http://t.co/SWp0jo0E

  4. Hilary Burrage

    Want to see road safety improved? Here’s how you can help http://t.co/SWp0jo0E

  5. Janet Graham

    Want to see road safety improved? Here's how you can help http://t.co/g8J0ykxq

  6. richardbrennan

    Want to see road safety improved? Here’s how you can help | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/WsokitRg via @libcon

  7. Stuart Graham

    @ChukaUmunna Will you be voting for cyclist's safety on Friday? http://t.co/h647L5ih via http://t.co/Nfrs0cz8

  8. Paul Cotterill

    Dear all, if you do get a chance, please send a quick email to your MP about this http://t.co/s5acTAbD A small step for bike safety.

  9. Jill Hayward

    Dear all, if you do get a chance, please send a quick email to your MP about this http://t.co/s5acTAbD A small step for bike safety.

  10. Pete Berry

    RT @libcon: Want to see road safety improved? Here's how you can help http://t.co/AwYBRaZp

  11. Declan Gaffney

    Paul Cotterill: want to see road safety improved? Here's how. http://t.co/wE8yR50p





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