The Alliance of British Drivers (ABD) have raised concerns and voiced criticism regarding the European Transport Safety Council's (ETSC) stance on the responsibility for road accidents involving pedestrians falling squarely on the driver's shoulders.
The ABD said: "UK pedestrian road traffic accident causation statistics consistently indicate that 65% of pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries are precipitated by the pedestrian."
The motoring organisation explained that jumping, running, stepping or walking into the carriageway without due care and attention were major prevailing factors.
Also the remaining reported factors indicate a responsibility deficit on the part of pedestrians, with 9% of accidents involving alcohol or drugs.
In many cases, distraction through the use of hand-held mobile phones may be a further, unreported contributory factor.
So, far from motorised road users putting people at risk, it can very reasonably be argued that the reverse is often the case according to the ABD.
The ETSC, in recent comments, continued to 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.”
The ABD countered the ETSC’s comments by saying: "It's utterly incredible, the 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 is invariably 100% enforced to the limit of the applicable law. The situation is similar throughout Europe."
The ABD are now calling for the creation of a permanent, entirely independent and objective UK Road Accident Investigation and Prevention Board.
The body would be tasked with fully investigating the causes of road accidents and implementing effective preventative measures. It would also be staffed by personnel with a genuine (marine/aviation) accident investigation background and have no vested interest in “policing for profit”.
Other proposals include:
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