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Killer drivers to face life sentence with new UK law

by Eleonora Malacarne on Sep 23, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Killer drivers to face life sentence with new UK law

Drivers who kill others after speeding, racing, using a phone or due to impaired driving (under the influence of drink or drugs) could receive life sentences under new legislation, while the current maximum sentence is of 14 years.

The reform was announced last week in the and will be introduced in the UK Parliament early next year.

With the current lack of specificity in the law, drivers causing injuries or death can be only convicted of careless driving. This change was firstly announced in 2017 and now it seems there is actually going to be a timeframe stating when it will come into force.

The increase will apply to offences in England, Scotland and Wales, but not Northern Ireland, which has separate road safety laws.

A consultation carried out in 2016 gave support for the new driving offence measures from victims, road safety campaigners and people who had lost loved ones. Of the 9,000 who responded, 90% thought there should be a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving. In addition, 70% of those who responded agreed the maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving should be increased to life imprisonment.

Last year, 174 people were sentenced for causing death by dangerous driving, and another 19 for causing death by careless driving.

 

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Photo by Nabeel Syed on Unsplash

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Topics: Safe Driving, dangerous driving

Dangerous driving campaigns: a small selection

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jun 29, 2015 10:00:00 AM

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Speeding, harsh acceleration, distracted driving are all examples of dangerous driving and possible causes for traffic accidents. The number of road accidents per year in Europe is still too high: approximately 1.3 million people die each year in road fatalities, while serious injuries account for 20 to 50 million; hence the need for campaigns to sensitize audiences against the risks of dangerous driving.

Here are a few samples of these types of campaigns, from across Western Europe, highlighting those risks.

 

1 - Loaded weapon—Road Safety Authority (RSA) of Ireland

In this video, three guys are in a car. All of them, not only the driver, exhibit dangerous behaviour inside the car by distracting one other and the driver isn’t paying enough attention to the road; however, he is also guilty of speeding—everybody’s behaviour is having an impact on safety. Furthermore, the reckless behaviour, demonstrated by these three young men, is not only putting them in harm’s way, but also other road users.

The dangerous conduct is compared to toying with a loaded weapon, as the catchphrase suggests: “Your car is a loaded weapon. And everyone in it has their finger on the trigger.”

 

2 – THINK! - It’s 30 for a reason—Department for Transport (DfT), UK

This video follows the daily routine of a man, from the moment he wakes up until the end of the day.

Throughout the whole day in various scenes, in various locations, you can see the image of a dead child on the floor, the pavement, the grass in the park etc. It becomes gradually clear that the man is experiencing guilt because he caused the death of a child through excessive speeding.

The video ends with this striking statement: “Kill your speed, or live with it…. It’s 30 for a reason”.

 

3 – Trop vite, trop tard [Too fast, too late]—Securité Routiere du Gouvernement, France

This French campaign video pictures a family in a car in a frozen image just before hitting another car as it pulls out in front of them; at the same time the family are eerily moving and talking outside the car discussing what is about to happen.

The mother tries to reassure the child by saying the father is going to brake sharply, but it is obvious, even if he does, that it will be impossible to prevent the crash. The car now moves (as if the play button is pressed) and we witness the devastating impact.

The voiceover exclaims “On ne regrette de rouler trop vite que quand il est trop tard”—you regret driving too fast, only when it’s too late.

 

4 – Únete a nosotros, únete a la vida [Join us, join life]—Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT), Spain

Once again there is a family inside a car. They seem to be in a rush as the father says they have already stopped three times, and later adds that “We will never reach…” referring to the fact that, although his daughter is thirsty, he does not want to stop again to buy water for his child. In order to reach his destination quickly, the father accelerates and then attempts a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre; he subsequently loses control of his car and crashes.

We witness the crash and then hear the same sentence “We will never reach…” once more, this time referring to the fact that there was a car crash—that’s why they will never reach their destination.

The video continues, this time showing the correct behaviour—slowing down and paying due attention when overtaking.

 
 

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Topics: Road Safety, Safe Driving, speeding, Safety, dangerous driving, speed

Bank holiday speeding safety alert

by Eleonora Malacarne on May 30, 2015 10:00:00 AM

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Next Monday’s bank holiday, June 1st, is seen as the starting point for what is normally considered to be the most dangerous time on Irish roads.
 
Local authorities as well as the police force set up a speeding safety alert in an attempt to underline once again the dangers of speeding, particularly now after some Garda divisions revealed that motorists have been caught travelling at up to three times the speed limit on some very busy roads.
 
According to independent.ie sources, one motorist was clocked travelling at 140kmh on the Cappagh Road in Dublin 11, where the maximum limit is 50kmh. Unfortunately this is not the only case: a driver was caught doing 178kmh on the R563 at Faha East in Kerry (that actual speed limit is 60kmh) and another was travelling at 195kmh at Ballacolla in Laois, where a 120kmh limit applies, followed by 189kmh at Keadue in Donegal, where the limit is 100kmh.
 
The Gardaí are trying to enforce controls and rules more effectively in light of these episodes which only prove just how poor the awareness of safety issues such as speeding is—one of the major causes of accidents leading to serious injuries and fatalities.
 
According to Garda National Traffic Bureau sources, more than 7,500 drivers have already been caught speeding in 2015 (where speeding means travelling 30 km/h or more above the designated speed limit).
 
Last year during the same long weekend, road traffic accidents led to 11 serious injury cases and 2 fatalities.
 
 
 

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Topics: Safe Driving, speed limit, aggressive driving, speeding, Safety, dangerous driving, bank holiday, drive safely

Vans and tailgating: another form of aggressive driving

by Eleonora Malacarne on Apr 21, 2015 10:00:00 AM

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Business Vans: The Vans Website posted a blog in February referring to AXA Business Insurance statistics: van drivers are 50% more likely to be involved in a collision caused by tailgating or following too closely behind another vehicle.
 
Police statistics add that van drivers are also more prone to driver fatigue than ordinary motorists, this is compounded by the fact that driving a van is more challenging due to its laden weight, more restricted road visibility for its drivers and the, often, larger dimensions of the vehicle.
 
Vans are more heavily laden than cars, meaning that when a van applies its brakes it can take up to four times longer to stop. Furthermore, accidents caused by tailgating can be significantly more dangerous for van drivers.
 
During daylight with good, dry roads and low traffic volume, you can ensure you are a safe distance from the car ahead of you by following the "three-second rule". (The distance changes at different speeds.)
 
If you are unsure how to determine the right following distance—follow the three-seconds-rule. First, select a fixed object on the road ahead such as a sign, tree or overpass. When the vehicle ahead of you passes the object, slowly count to yourself “one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand”, if you reach the object before completing the count, you are following too closely.
 
Making sure there are three seconds between you and the car ahead gives you enough time and distance to respond to any problems directly in front of you.
 
If you are a victim of a tailgater, do not try to “teach him a lesson” or react aggressively to his/her attitude. It might be wiser to adopt a submissive style rather than try to “fight fire with fire”; change lane if possible to let him pass, for example, or—if it is convenient and safe to do so—try to encourage the tailgater to overtake by slowing down, stopping or even turn off at the next opportunity. This might seem like you are allowing yourself to be bullied, but there are no winners in a car crash.
 
Risks on the Road - FREE ebook
 
 
 


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Topics: Road Safety, Safe Driving, accidents, aggressive driving, road rage, tailgating, Safety, driving style, roadsafety, dangerous driving

2014: a worrying hike in fleet driver fines

by Eleonora Malacarne on Apr 3, 2015 10:00:00 AM

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Despite the stress given to the importance of driving safely and the increased sensitization campaigns about the dangers of speeding and distracted driving, the year 2014 has seen a significantly higher number of fleet driver fines, of drivers committing road traffic offenses.
 
According to a survey carried out by Lex Autolease, shared by Fleet Point in February, fleet drivers were fined 145,000 times during 2014; company drivers committed 20,525 more driving offences than in the previous year—2013.
 
The offenses do include parking fines, but there has been a considerable rise in number related to safety, such as speeding, dangerous driving or mobile phone misuse behind the wheel. The latter increased from 34,495 incidents in 2013 to 40,001 in 2014.
 
The statistics are quite worrying for companies (as well as for road users), because the survey only accounts for the drivers who were actually spotted and fined for flouting the rules, so there is more than likely a sizeable percentage of drivers who aren’t observing basic standards of safe driving and haven’t, as yet, been “caught in the act”.
 
Speeding, distracted driving, risky manoeuvring and unsafe driving behaviour may not only result in dangerous collisions leading to serious injury, trauma or even death, but, of course, there are also the fines, penalty points, downtime and the consequences of failing to comply with “the duty of care” to consider.
 
Companies must try to be aware of this unwelcome increase in work-related driving offenses and just how their employees’ style of driving can impact on both their drivers' safety and their company's image and costs.
 
Risks on the Road - FREE ebook
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Topics: Safe Driving, mobile phone misuse, aggressive driving, sanctions, speeding, offences, Safety, distracted driving, penalty points, parking fines, driving safely, dangerous driving, News, Stats & Facts, safe driving style, fleet driver fines

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