Less policing ‘causing rise in road deaths in England and Wales’

Mike Sales
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Less policing ‘causing rise in road deaths in England and Wales’

Postby Mike Sales » 15 Jul 2020, 10:12pm

A deterioration in policing on the roads in England and Wales – including a drop in funding, breathalyser tests and fines for mobile phone use and failing to wear seatbelts – is behind a rise in fatal incidents, a damning report has revealed.

Road safety was not prominent enough in the consciousness of many politicians, police leaders and the public, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) warned, adding this was reflected in the low priority some forces and police and crime commissioners gave to roads policing.

A steady decline in deaths caused by road traffic collisions was reversed around 2013. It has been rising slowly since, from about 1,541 deaths in 2013 to 1,624 in 2018.


https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/15/deterioration-policing-causing-rise-road-deaths-england-wales

irc
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Re: Less policing ‘causing rise in road deaths in England and Wales’

Postby irc » 15 Jul 2020, 11:05pm

Looks more like a static risk to me. I believe the population has increased faster than the road death rate 2013 to 2018. Average annual growth circa 0.5%.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demogra ... ed_Kingdom

As to why? Low hanging fruit measures mostly done. Car not getting safer. Fewer gains from highway engineering.

thirdcrank
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Re: Less policing ‘causing rise in road deaths in England and Wales’

Postby thirdcrank » 16 Jul 2020, 6:22am

It's interesting - to me, at least - that this report was commissioned by the transport ministry, rather than the Home Office, because that suggests to me that Highways England are, at least, getting fed up with policing and the sub-plot may be a push to take over some traffic enforcement, particularly on so-called smart motorways. eg It's arguably absurd that HE install speed detection cameras and the police are responsible for deciding the enforcement policy.

There's not always much to be gained by depending on media reports. The report in yesterday's Daily T was more detailed but the horse's mouth is better. I'm not going to read it now when I just got up "to make myself comfortable" and to make a cup of tea. PDF version of report itself here:-

https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk ... and-wales/

I anticipate some confirmation of my long-running hobbyhorses.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Less policing ‘causing rise in road deaths in England and Wales’

Postby [XAP]Bob » 16 Jul 2020, 10:03am

irc wrote:Looks more like a static risk to me. I believe the population has increased faster than the road death rate 2013 to 2018. Average annual growth circa 0.5%.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demogra ... ed_Kingdom

As to why? Low hanging fruit measures mostly done. Car not getting safer. Fewer gains from highway engineering.


Population doesn't necessarily map well onto journeys, and since many of those deaths will be outside the vehicles, car miles doesn't necessarily translate perfectly, but it's likely a reasonable approximation.

What we can say confidently is that the number which are genuine accidents - equipment failure which wouldn't have been caught by routine maintenance is probably in the single digits at most - which leaves 1500+ people a year being killed because other people aren't taking enough care.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Jdsk
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Re: Less policing ‘causing rise in road deaths in England and Wales’

Postby Jdsk » 16 Jul 2020, 11:25am

[XAP]Bob wrote:What we can say confidently is that the number which are genuine accidents - equipment failure which wouldn't have been caught by routine maintenance is probably in the single digits at most - which leaves 1500+ people a year being killed because other people aren't taking enough care.

Yes, the language matters.

That's why it's smarter to call them EDs than A&Es.

Jonathan

irc
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Re: Less policing ‘causing rise in road deaths in England and Wales’

Postby irc » 16 Jul 2020, 11:37am

[XAP]Bob wrote:
irc wrote:Looks more like a static risk to me. I believe the population has increased faster than the road death rate 2013 to 2018. Average annual growth circa 0.5%.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demogra ... ed_Kingdom

As to why? Low hanging fruit measures mostly done. Car not getting safer. Fewer gains from highway engineering.


Population doesn't necessarily map well onto journeys, and since many of those deaths will be outside the vehicles, car miles doesn't necessarily translate perfectly, but it's likely a reasonable approximation.

What we can say confidently is that the number which are genuine accidents - equipment failure which wouldn't have been caught by routine maintenance is probably in the single digits at most - which leaves 1500+ people a year being killed because other people aren't taking enough care.


Being pedantic it is less than 1500 that since many careless/reckless drivers kill themselves.

On one hand the statistical risk is low. On the other hand there is more that could be done to reduce it. Personally I would remove any exemptions from bans under the totting up procedure. If your job is so important you need a car then observe speed limits. I would also make handheld mobile phone use a straight driving ban. Research has proved it is a similar risk to drink driving so the penalties should be similar.

Jdsk
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Re: Less policing ‘causing rise in road deaths in England and Wales’

Postby Jdsk » 16 Jul 2020, 11:40am

irc wrote:I would also make handheld mobile phone use a straight driving ban. Research has proved it is a similar risk to drink driving so the penalties should be similar.

It's looking as if it doesn't matter much whether it's hand held or not... it's the distraction rather than the ergonomics that causes the risk.

And, as always, deterrence depends as much on perceived risk of detection as on penalty.

Jonathan

thirdcrank
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Re: Less policing ‘causing rise in road deaths in England and Wales’

Postby thirdcrank » 16 Jul 2020, 1:28pm

Day 2 after publication and the media have got beyond the executive summary. Here's the Daily Wail:-

Speed cameras ARE being used to fleece drivers: Watchdog reveals how locations are chosen in 'good hunting grounds' for making money rather than preventing accidents - so is YOUR yellow box among those raking in the most cash?

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... veals.html

Thinks: This is a report which analyses the gradual deterioration of what's become known as roads policing, a subject which should be close to the heart of all vulnerable road users and those who claim to represent them.

If this had been a report into shortcomings in the action against eg domestic violence, the interested campaign bodies would be all over the media. All I seem to see now is "motoring journalists" bleating about speed cameras.

Mike Sales
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Re: Less policing ‘causing rise in road deaths in England and Wales’

Postby Mike Sales » 16 Jul 2020, 1:31pm

Presumably, "good hunting grounds" for speeding drivers are roads where lots of drivers are breaking the law.
Seems to be places that need more enforcement.

thirdcrank
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Re: Less policing ‘causing rise in road deaths in England and Wales’

Postby thirdcrank » 16 Jul 2020, 1:45pm

What I'm trying to say is that any report like this is an opportunity for campaigners to raise concerns. Cycle campaigners should be emphasising the message here: there should be stronger enforcement of road traffic law.

irc
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Re: Less policing ‘causing rise in road deaths in England and Wales’

Postby irc » 16 Jul 2020, 2:25pm

Jdsk wrote:
irc wrote:I would also make handheld mobile phone use a straight driving ban. Research has proved it is a similar risk to drink driving so the penalties should be similar.

It's looking as if it doesn't matter much whether it's hand held or not... it's the distraction rather than the ergonomics that causes the risk.

And, as always, deterrence depends as much on perceived risk of detection as on penalty.

Jonathan


I agree. Evidence is that much of the danger is from the converstion distrscting the driver. A harder sell to the public. Anecdotally most of the really bad swerving drivers I have seen have been holding the phone. Perhaps texting.

irc
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Re: Less policing ‘causing rise in road deaths in England and Wales’

Postby irc » 16 Jul 2020, 2:31pm

Mike Sales wrote:Presumably, "good hunting grounds" for speeding drivers are roads where lots of drivers are breaking the law.
Seems to be places that need more enforcement.


I disagree. A traffic cop I know moaned to me that a push for numbers meant some of his colleagues were doing speeders in places where there was no danger to get easy numbers. I would rather have 1 speeder done outside a school (and many others discouraged) than 20 on a slip road with a motorway one side, a railway the other, and zero other road users apart from cars going the same way at similar speeds.

Case in point. Westbound slip from M8 to Clyde tunnel. Goes to 30mph halfway along still several hundred yards from the roundabout.

https://goo.gl/maps/KCkNQ2dkDX1CqcvY7

With limited traffic cops I would suggest focus on places where speeding poses the most danger. Not where the easiest ticks are.

Jdsk
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Re: Less policing ‘causing rise in road deaths in England and Wales’

Postby Jdsk » 16 Jul 2020, 2:36pm

irc wrote:I disagree. A traffic cop I know moaned to me that a push for numbers meant some of his colleagues were doing speeders in places where there was no danger to get easy numbers.

...

With limited traffic cops I would suggest focus on places where speeding poses the most danger. Not where the easiest ticks are.

This is such an important point. Not only would it produce the greatest reduction in harm but it would also minimise the allegation of bad faith action by the enforcers.

Any proposals for how to design the incentives to encourage the enforcers to behave accordingly?

Jonathan

Mike Sales
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Re: Less policing ‘causing rise in road deaths in England and Wales’

Postby Mike Sales » 16 Jul 2020, 2:43pm

irc wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:Presumably, "good hunting grounds" for speeding drivers are roads where lots of drivers are breaking the law.
Seems to be places that need more enforcement.


I disagree. A traffic cop I know moaned to me that a push for numbers meant some of his colleagues were doing speeders in places where there was no danger to get easy numbers. I would rather have 1 speeder done outside a school (and many others discouraged) than 20 on a slip road with a motorway one side, a railway the other, and zero other road users apart from cars going the same way at similar speeds.

Case in point. Westbound slip from M8 to Clyde tunnel. Goes to 30mph halfway along still several hundred yards from the roundabout.

https://goo.gl/maps/KCkNQ2dkDX1CqcvY7

With limited traffic cops I would suggest focus on places where speeding poses the most danger. Not where the easiest ticks are.


If drivers think that some limits are inappropriate then they should campaign about that, not just ignore them. I don't trust drivers to decide the safe speed.
Why is it so onerous to obey the law? Limits are well signed. Why can't drivers just take it easy?

Jdsk
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Re: Less policing ‘causing rise in road deaths in England and Wales’

Postby Jdsk » 16 Jul 2020, 3:39pm

irc's point is clear... "With limited traffic cops"... not in some world that doesn't exist where every law can be enforced at every moment. (Although I'm optimistic about technological enforcement of traffic laws that can get much closer to achieving that.)

Jonathan