The following is a list of aims and objectives of the Alliance of British Drivers
Please note that they are not placed in order of priority and that all are subject to review and updating as new evidence and information comes to light.
Setting of limits to be carried out by a body of experts comprising of traffic officers, driver training organisations and professional highway engineers. Politicians should not be involved. All members of such a body to receive training in the correct setting of limits. As an interim step towards such a system, such a body should be set up to oversee limits and to hear appeals from objectors to particular limits.
Limits to be set to appropriate levels according the risk level of each particular road. They should be judged according to national criteria and should be broadly linked to the 85th percentile speed.
Variable limits should be used where there is predictable dramatic variation in risk level. In particular outside some schools where limit should be lowered to appropriate individual levels when students are entering or leaving the premises, perhaps controlled from within the school for outside hours activities.
Motorway limits should be a default 80mph with 70 limits kept for more hazardous areas. Some of the better-designed motorways should have 90mph limits. Consideration should be given to further increases on the latter in stages if results show no increase in fatal or serious injury accidents.
Variable motorway limits have not proved successful. Training and Education could be far more cost effective in both safety and traffic flow terms.
Limits must be clearly signed with repeaters. The current 'streetlight' rule is outdated and causes confusion.
The existing 'car based' rule for vans should be abolished. All vans up to Transit size should be subject to the same limits as cars.
The existing HGV limit of 40mph on single carriageways should be raised to 50mph.
Re-establish and strengthen Police traffic divisions. Training of officers to be strengthened back to 'Hendon' standards.
The current bias towards speed limit enforcement at the expense of all other traffic law enforcement must end. In particular the laws on careless, reckless, dangerous and inconsiderate driving must be properly enforced.
Fixed penalty tickets - It is fundamentally wrong that drivers should be guaranteed a higher penalty if they elect to go to court. This discourages drivers from defending their case, even when they have good justification for doing so.
Fixed penalty tickets could be introduced for careless and inconsiderate driving but ONLY if the above anomaly is removed.
Drivers should only be prosecuted if their driving is causing danger to others. Prosecution should not occur if they are simply exceeding an inappropriately set speed limit in safe conditions. There should be an onus of proof on the prosecuting agency to show why the driver is causing danger.
Excessive speed within the speed limit should be targeted using current careless driving laws. For example 60mph in thick fog on a motorway can be far more dangerous than 80mph in clear conditions. 30mph past a busy school can be far more dangerous than 40mph after the school has closed.
Speed enforcement should be concentrated at high-risk sites at high-risk times.
Consistent national policy of minimum tolerance before prosecution of 10%+2mph, prosecution above this to be at officer's discretion.
Cameras - Speed, Red Light, and Tailgating
Current camera siting guidelines are totally inappropriate, whether applicable to those in hypothecation schemes or otherwise. The primary criterion must be that the location must have a significantly higher than average KSI rate per Bn Vehicle Km (say 50% in excess of this level) for the class of road AND the primary cause (unequivocally & incontrovertibly established using objective and sound statistical analysis) of that higher rate must have been road users exceeding the posted speed limit - which itself has to have been been set using 85th percentile principles. Enforcement can only be carried out in the immediate vicinity (within 800yds of the approach of) a genuine accident blackspot as identified by the procedure above. These guidelines must become law and be strictly enforced with penalties for non-complying authorities. Prosecutions from illegally placed cameras must also be outlawed.
Speed camera sites must be audited after two years. If the camera has shown no casualty reduction using statistically valid data, then it must be removed.
Speed cameras must only be used at locations where a statistically significantly higher than average accident rate (per Billion Vehicle km) occurs due specifically to road users exceeding the posted speed limit.
The speed limit should be shown on the camera post to help prevent panic braking.
Cameras should only be used when all other engineering measures have been tried.
When other measures are introduced they must be given a period of two years for reliable statistics to be obtained post improvement to ensure the area still justifies camera installation.
A reversal of the current rule which requires cameras to be placed only where more than 20% of drivers exceed limits. This should be changed to Cameras must only be placed where the limit has been correctly set according to DoT guidelines i.e. at or above the 85th percentile speed. The ABD favours use of traffic light cameras provided a reasonable period of amber timing is in place together with sensible allowances before prosecution. The ABD believes the issue of tailgating deserves urgent attention through education of both the tailgater and tailgated plus enforcement. We have grave reservations over the use of cameras for this and cannot support their use. Cameras cannot tell when somebody has just cut back in front -indeed this, or deliberate braking, could be done maliciously resulting in an innocent driver being prosecuted.
Stricter penalties for drivers of stolen vehicles, particularly when unlicenced and/or driven recklessly. Minimum sentence of three years imprisonment for unlicenced car thieves, five years where reckless driving is proven.
Level of penalties should depend entirely upon degree of risk to others created. If no risk is proven there should be no penalty.
Insurance for young drivers far outweighs current fine levels. Fines for willfully driving without insurance should be increased to £1,000.
Penalty levels must always recognise the difference between genuine errors (which should be tackled by training and assistance) and willful recklessness (which should be tackled by a combination of punishment and training).
The ABD would introduce a 'Positive Points' system where drivers would gain points for every year of accident free driving. Further positive points would be awarded for taking extra training and testing, the more training taken and higher level achieved, the greater the reward. It would be hoped that insurance companies would recognise high quality drivers from their higher points rating. Any penalty points would be deducted from a driver's total. This is a far more sophisticated version of the current scheme where points are waived for those who undertake training following offences - our scheme would encourage training to be taken prior to and therefore often avoiding offending/danger.
Any system that allows points to be put on UK licences for offences outside of the UK will be opposed. Drivers will have no opportunity of a fair hearing in court and many countries have inferior standards of detection equipment, maintenance of such and standards of police behaviour.
Incentives should be given for those who pass an advanced driving test. We favour the 'positive points' approach.
Every driver should have the opportunity to have their driving assessed by a professional observer free of charge. This should be encouraged on a five yearly basis.
Police officers should be given powers to send any driver they judge to be severely lacking in necessary skills on a training course.
Training courses should be given to those whose lack of driving skills has been shown to have contributed to accidents.
New drivers should be encouraged to take an advanced level test within 18 months of their initial test pass (advanced meaning higher standard and does not refer to existing advanced courses although it would be anticipated to be to of similar level of competence)
The importance of driver training in reducing congestion to be recognised.
Training courses should be offered as an alternative to penalty points for some offences.
Any courses offered as alternatives to penalty points must consist of proper hazard awareness and anticipation training and must not be just lectures on the importance of keeping to speed limits.
A new body to be set up to cater for the extra training demand (IAM/RoADA/DSA/Commercial Organisation/Police involvement?).
'P' plates to be compulsory for one year after passing basic test or until advanced level test is passed.
Driver training to be placed on the national curriculum. Every town should have at least one practice track. In many cases a school playground and playing field could be adapted to provide simulated road conditions. End of life vehicles could be used, restored by school engineering workshops to give pupils practice and insight into vehicle mechanics. This would also help reduce the skills shortage in engineering trades.
A Buy on-line at amazon copy of the highway code should be sent to every household in the UK — to be financed by sponsorship, advertising.
Education campaigns on television and other media should be introduced on all aspects of road use. In particular: (For Drivers) The importance of always driving at a speed where one can safely stop within the distance seen to be clear. How to look out for and help ensure the safety of vulnerable road users. Correct positioning to see and be seen (for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists). Lane discipline and correct slip road usage on motorways. Correct practice for negotiating roundabouts. General hazard anticipation and the dangers of distraction and tiredness.
A concerted effort to be made by the authorities to encourage drivers to take a pride in honing their driving skills.
Simple 'Always keep left unless overtaking!' signs to be affixed to motorway bridges at regular intervals
(For other road users) All pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders should be provided with appropriate education on safe road use. This should be a mandatory part of the school curriculum and backed up by heavy press and television advertising
Congestion Charging and Road Tolling
All current schemes and proposals for future tolling and charging should be scrapped. The road system should be funded from the 36 billion pounds paid in motoring taxes each year. Taxation refunds to be given when hold ups have been caused by highway authorities as occurs on railways.
Fuel taxes should be reduced to the amount needed to maintain, improve and police road system. ALL money raised to be spent on road system only. It is realised that a phased transition to the ultimate objective over a period of a decade may be required to maintain stability of national finances.
The practice of charging VAT on road fuel should cease. It is a tax on a tax as it is applied to the duty portion of the fuel price.
Vehicle Excise Duty
Scrap VED and place the equivalent annual total onto petrol. This MUST be carried out as a revenue neutral exercise. There will then be a natural attraction to more efficient vehicles without the complicated tax banding currently used. Much wasteful administration would also be saved.
Any scheme to tax vehicles not kept on the road (SORN) is opposed.
Recognition to be given to the environmental benefits of keeping older cars on the road (there is more environmental cost in producing a new vehicle)
Free ample parking at all stations and major bus interchanges where achievable.
Road/rail/bus interchanges to be constructed at strategic locations.
Completion of the motorway and trunk road system to be a priority. Motorways are fundamentallyenvironmentally friendly as they allow traffic to flow at a steady, uninterrupted speed.
All bypass projects to be reinstated. Bypasses to be properly funded from the taxes drivers already pay rather than from developers for the right to construct infill developments that then generate more traffic (a situation often misused by anti road campaigners to 'show' the false conclusion that new roads always fill up with traffic). The ABD believe a properly designed and constructed road network must be developed to meet the needs of the 21st century and ensure the economic prosperity and competiveness needed for the UK to fund improvements in our schools, health, police and other social services.
A study by the University of Surrey on the environmental impact of the Newbury Bypass, which showed that it has actually protected the environment, coupled to the large excess of motoring tax revenue over transport expenditure, shows that there is no excuse whatsoever for limiting road building on environmental grounds. With careful design and construction, including modern tunneling techniques, bypasses and other roads urgently needed to improve the country's transport infrastructure can also benefit the environment and should be built without further delay.
Investment in road improvements/new roads with proper coach service provision is almost invariably far more cost effective than building new railways outside of major cities and is often more cost effective and efficient than maintaining existing rail routes. This should take priority where shown to be the case.
An open and honest independent investigation into the benefits of rail subsidies compared to the equivalent amount spent on roads.
All new motorways and dual carriageways to be built with enough lanes to exceed current and projected traffic level needs. Infrastructure should always allow for extra lanes to be easily added in future.
Best quality surfaces must always be used, porous tarmac which dramatically reduces spray and noise should be standard practice for all new and maintenance work on motorways, whilst high grip surfaces should be used on all bends and near junctions.
All motorways carrying heavy traffic should be lit by high quality lighting.
There should be a statutory obligation for local authorities to provide adequate parking to satisfy demand at reasonable cost. Demand may of course be reduced by providing attractive alternative transportation methods but using these should be a matter of choice, not coercion.
More consideration to be given to underground parking as popular on the continent.
Reinstate planning requirements for all new developments to provide adequate parking.
All parking charges for motorcycles to be abolished.
On road parking to be allowed except where there are genuine safety reasons for preventing parking. Restrictions must not be used to force drivers into expensive car parks.
Bus Lanes/Multiple Occupancy Lanes
Bus/ Multi-occupancy Lanes - These must only be created where they add additional road space to existing lanes, NEVER where they subtract road space from other road users. All bus lanes to allow use by vehicles carrying more than one occupant plus certain other classes of vehicle including PTWs together with essential users, including Doctors, Nurses or Midwifes attending patients, breakdown services, 'meals on wheels' providers etc.
Full list of criteria that the ABD believes should be applied.
Bus lanes should not be allowed unless at minimum of one bus every 10 minutes is scheduled.
Hours of operation should be kept to the minimum necessary.
The ABD is opposed to stand alone multiple occupancy lanes. The above refers strictly to existing bus lanes.
New bus lanes must add to traffic space and must not be allowed to restrict general traffic flow.
The practice of closing 'off line' bus stops and replacing them with 'on line' stops that hold up traffic must be stopped.
The current 80mg limit should be strictly enforced. The replacement of traffic officers with speed cameras is undermining its effectiveness and the obsession with speed limit enforcement allows drunk drivers traveling under the speed limit to avoid prosecution.
All drivers to be breath tested following accidents.
Speed Limiting Devices
The ABD opposes both in-vehicle and satellite speed limiting devices. Note the increase in accidents since the imposition of speed limiters on LGVs (which should be abolished). The ABD nevertheless acknowledges that there may, in the longer term, be drive-by-wire technology developments that may allow increases in motorway capacity and speed (under very high traffic density conditions ONLY). Speed Limiters must NEVER EVER, be used under conditions in which they are likely to promote a dissociated-passive driving style to the detriment of road user attention and hence to the detriment also of road safety.
All utilities to be charged for the time they obstruct the traffic. Compulsion for 24/7 working on heavily trafficked routes. It must be compulsory for utility companies to liaise & co-operate to maximise efficiency and minimise disruption in the execution of roadworks. Utilities must be restricted by using scientifically verifiable criteria regarding the maximum length of carriageway that can be subjected to coning and reduced limits at any one time.
Speed limits at roadworks must be removed when workers are not present (except where reduced lane width dictates that the limit be retained at all times during the presence of the roadworks).
Traffic flow reduction measures such as chicanes and speed humps to be removed. Proper road design to be used to improve safety where necessary.
A regular audit of all road markings to ensure they are still relevant. In particular solid white lines, many are unnecessary, whilst many necessary ones are missing.
Regular patrolling of all roads to ensure standards are maintained, particularly in relation to surfaces and vegetation cutbacks to ensure vital sightlines are maintained.
Local authorities should have a legal obligation to maintain roads to a proper standard, including the road surface, road markings, and cutting back vegetation on bends and at junctions.
A scientific investigation into the effects on driver hazard perception of "signage overload" is required. Signage should be kept to the absolute minimum consistent with providing adequate road user information & advice, but must be prevented from reaching frivolous - or worse dangerous- levels as can be the case currently.
Government and Local Consultation Exercises
Must not be managed or undertaken by any organisation with a vested interest in the outcome.
All official statistics to be presented in an honest, factual manner without spin.
Statistics to be collated for the following: Number of fatal and serious injury accidents involving stolen vehicles. Number of fatal and serious injury accidents caused primarily by excessive speed occurring above the speed limit.
A national standard practice of presenting full accident statistics in a uniform fashion with no deviation allowed.
An end to the use of the currently misleading term KSI. Instead results must be separated into fatal (K) and serious injury(SI) accidents. The term SI therefore requires redefinition to only encompass genuinely life-threatening or permanently disabling/seriously scarring injuries. The current definition of a 'KSI' can include such things as minor whiplash or a broken toe and is too easily manipulated by those who desire to show 'success'.
All drivers involved in accidents to undertake an eyesight test.
Doctors and opticians to be required to notify DVLA of any impairment that would impair driving ability.
Knowingly driving with seriously defective eyesight to carry strong penalties.
Company Car Taxation
Taxation of company cars and private fuel to be based on a fair assessment of the real value of the benefit provided and not related to CO2 emissions.
The Environmental Impact of Car Use
Rapidly improving outdoor air quality, mainly due to advances in car emissions technology and low sulphur fuels, should be recognised through reductions in fuel duty and road tax as outdoor air quality continues to improve.
The negative environmental impact of traffic calming, as revealed though studies such as the review of the Gloucester Safer Cities Project, should be publicised and the cost of installing such schemes should reflect their environmental impact; equally the removal of such environmentally harmful schemes should attract an eco-grant.
The much greater threat to health of low-quality indoor air, which (in the UK) is on average ten times more polluted than city smog, should be taken into account fully whenever the impact of air quality on health is examined.
Given overwhelming evidence that climate change remains well within natural limits, that on every instance of global warming or cooling studied the carbon dioxide change follows the temperature change, and that zero use of all cars in the UK would have no measurable impact on carbon dioxide levels, no justification of taxation and restriction on car ownership and/or use on these grounds can be justified. Existing restrictions, taxes and duties based on them should be removed, and car taxation frameworks based on carbon dioxide emissions should be scrapped (see 10. V.E.D.)
Public transport vehicles should be made to undergo emissions testing comparable to that used for cars and motorcycles, and when roadside air quality checks are made, contemporaneous identical tests should be undertaken in the indoor passenger concourse areas and platforms of train stations and near bus stops in car-free areas of towns and cities as part of an on-going environmental audit of public transport.
Vehicle defect rectification notices are all that should follow failure of roadside emissions testing of any car or motorcycle.
Rules And Regulations
The ABD is concerned at recent tendencies to introduce new legislation, such as the mobile phone laws, to tackle problems that should have been tackled using the existing 'due care' and careless driving legislation. An excess of new specific rules and regulations should be avoided by more use of trained traffic officers using existing legislation and an encouragement of magistrates to take genuine 'due care' and careless offences seriously
HGVs to be restricted to lanes one and two on all motorways, no matter how many lanes (excepting stretches with crawler lanes on hills). Any driver driving unnecessarily slowly or in the wrong lane and holding up such vehicles should be targeted by traffic officers.
Drivers of slow moving vehicles should be compelled to pull into the first available layby to allow traffic to pass when a queue of more than five cars is following.
Funding and Charitable Status of Road Safety Organisations
An end to government funding only of 'road safety' organisations that support the governments line. This puts those who have an alternative viewpoint at a serious disadvantage. Equal funding should be given, if any.
Charity commissioners should show no bias when allocating charitable status to organisations involved in road safety.
The Alliance of British Drivers
P O Box 248, Manchester M41 4BW