In an article on the Independent website, Jenny Jones, a Green Party member of the London Assembly, argues that society needs to take road safety more seriously.
Jenny Jones, who was a panellist at the Question Time session at the 2012 National Road Safety Conference, was commenting in the wake of the high profile case in which former MP Chris Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce were found guilty of evading traffic laws and misleading the police.
In the Independent article Jenny Jones says: “The rules on our lawless roads are clear, signposted and widely ignored.
“Speeding kills and casualties are rising, but the police won’t enforce 20mph limits in residential areas and safety cameras are regularly vandalised as an infringement of our civil liberties.
“Try driving at or below the legal speed limit and see how often you are flashed, honked, tail-gated, or dangerously overtaken.”
The article says that in London in 2011 there were 3,535 hit and run incidents in which someone was injured. Jenny Jones asks why such a widespread crime – committed by an “ordinary mix of good and bad people” – is hardly remarked upon.
She adds: “Traffic police numbers have been regularly cut back, even during the good years, and road safety has now been left out altogether from the London Mayor’s draft Police and Crime Plan.
“Such is the failure of our society to take road deaths and injuries seriously, tens of thousands of people are legally allowed to drive around with more than 12 points.
“When I did a Freedom of Information request on this I found that there were more than 2,800 people driving in London who were let off because they needed a vehicle in order to do their job. One person even had 30 points on their licence.”
Jenny Jones concludes: “I think it would be much more fitting if such criminals did community service rather than joined our over-crowded prisons, but I would also prefer that Chris Huhne was banned from driving and had to use public transport for a few years. That, for me, would send out the appropriate message about what really needs to change.”
Click here to read the full Independent article.