As the government today publishes its Road Safety Strategy Review the CTC has responded that government strategy to create safer roads is being seriously undermined by half-hearted enforcement of traffic laws.
In its review, the government confirmed its commitment to treble cycle use between by 2010 and recognised the value of cycle training. Howeverm, according to the CTC, the review falls short of setting meaningful targets to improve cycle safety.
CTC Campaigns and Policy Manager, Roger Geffen, said: “The revised strategy contains many worthy things that we welcome, but doesn’t really get to grips with the real issue, namely, too much traffic travelling too fast…
“…At present, traffic policing is not classified as a ‘core duty’ for the police, and this must change if safety for all road users is to improve. By allowing itself to become distracted by current proposals for mandatory cycle helmets, the Government is ignoring the real threat to cyclists’ safety – drivers who break the law.”
There is, at this time, no indication that the government will actually support the Private Member’s Bill to introduce mandatory helmet use for under-16s when it has its second parliamentary hearing this month. But the Bill could still be seen as a distraction and the CTC argue that new laws could be introduced that would make the roads safer for cyclists. These include a law making it easier for cyclists to claim damages from drivers who injure them, and one that determines a minimum gap to be left by drivers when overtaking cyclists.
Even without these new laws, more could be done to create a safer environment for cyclists by better enforcement of the existing law.