Road Safety News

Met beefs up patrols at 'key junctions'

Tuesday 26th November 2013

The Met Police is deploying around 2,500 traffic officers at key junctions on London's streets during peak times following the deaths of six cyclists over the last two weeks (BBC News).

Under Operation Safeway the Met will deploy officers at 166 key junctions to offer advice to anyone seen putting themselves or other road uses at risk, and issue fixed penalty notices to people breaking road traffic laws.

The number of police and locations will rise as the operation progresses until Christmas, when it would then be reviewed.

Superintendet Rob Revill from the Met Police said: "Our aim is to reduce the appalling number of people who die or are injured on London's roads each year.

"We welcome the recent debate around road safety but it is irrefutable that the Met and the public have a duty to ensure that we all take the very best care on the roads."

Last Monday (18 November), the Met carried out spot-checks on cyclists and HGVs in Vauxhall, south London. In four hours, the officers stopped 70 lorries and issued 15 fixed penalty notices for offences such as the vehicles not being fit for the road. They also stopped 100 cyclists, who were given safety advice.




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A roundabout IS "safety built-in to the system" Duncan! It's designed to create deflection of potentially conflicting vehicles and allows safe merging at slower speeds - hardly insanity.

The truth is our road layouts are generally fit for purpose, but some of its users are definitely not.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (4) | Disagree (1)

Hugh, Rob - Some of the fundamental safety problems with the road transport system that can't be overcome by removing the reckless and careless road users from the equation are quite easy to establish if you imagine 'inventing' the system today. A person presenting such a system would be laughed out of the building as the whole thing is self evidently preposterous and quite clearly utterly lethal. Setting two motorised vehicles off towards each other on a narrow strip of tarmac and with only a white line seperating them? Only a madman would even think that was a good idea. Roundabouts? Insanity. Overtaking? Positively bizarre.

When you look at the system in this light it shows that the people within the system 'cause' safety as there is no safety built-in to the sytem in the first place.
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

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Beat me to it Bob; an immediate Olympics of rashness, jumping to conclusions, running to interventions. Let's see what the investigation into the collisions bring. We share the road and should respect each other. The cyclist is particularly vulnerable, but we can only do so much to help them help themselves.
Olly, Lancs

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Looks like this was a knee jerk reaction to so many unfortunate deaths in such a short space of time.

No real conclusion can be reached until the results of enquiries by police and no doubt other officials can be made public. Only then we will all be in a better position to understand the where's and why fore's of such incidents occurring.

I read an article recently that actually makes the point that this years KSI stats are less than previous years if one takes into account the massive increase of people taking up biking not only in our capital but throughout the country. On the other hand it's easy to understand that the more people cycle the more incidents will inevitably take place.

There is still an on going argument about whether to incorporate cyclists on the present road structure or to design new roads or to segregate from all other traffic.

Police intervention at this time, though welcome, is a bit like closing the door after the horse has bolted.
bob craven Lancs

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Idris: The 99.99% was referring specifically to the apparent proportion of cyclists and HGV drivers who do not collide at these junctions, based on the published figures and was in response to someone suggesting there was something wrong with these junctions when, quite the opposite, it would seem, most do ‘cope’ with them.

Globally, despite the low standards of driving we see everyday, 99.99% of the time it doesn’t necessarily result in a collision and this could be down to forgiving road layouts, technology, better judgment by other road users and, as you say, luck. Low accident and casualty figures do not however, reflect a high standard of driving.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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2,500 officers / 166 sites = 15 officers at each site. Might it not be cheaper to pay for taxis for the cyclists?

Hugh - rather less than 99.99% cope with driving - the odd few % don't but get away with it by luck not judgement
Idris Francis Fight Back with Facts Petersfield

Agree (4) | Disagree (6)

You could have the most perfectly designed road layouts and some people will still get it wrong. With the current road layouts, 99.99% manage to cope.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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Rob, those behaviours are hardly the cause of accidents (not at all in fact with the case of seatbelts and cycle helmets). What we need in this case is better road design.
Pete, Westminster

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What are the underlying dangers in the system if more than 95% of injuries have human error as a factor? We should be supporting enforcement of poor behaviours such as drink/drug driving, mobile phone/texting whilst driving and not wearing seatbelts. Yes we want to see 5 star road conditions with 5 star safety ratings for vehicles but to achieve 5 star road user behaviour will require a mix of enforcement and education interventions. We should all be working to support each other.
Rob Smith Dorset

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What do you mean when you say 'bad' people or 'baddies'? I was referring to the reckless and carelsss road users who need to be targeted - whether it's to be educated or ticked-off/prosecuted. What are some of the fundamental safety problems with the road transport system you mentioned that can't be overcome by removing the reckless and careless road users from the equation?
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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Sorry Hugh, but more good people are involved in bad accidents than bad people are involved in bad accidents.

For sure there will always be an example of the hooligan coming to grief and taking some innocents with him, but by far the vast majority of victims are ordinary people like you and me just going about their daily business. Punishing baddies might give certain people a warm feeling, but it doesn't help with finding and fixing some of the fundamental safety problems with the road transport system.

The idea that if everybody followed the rules, then everybody else would be kept safe is simply not true as you only have to remember the effects of any 'work to rule' industrial disputes. If everybody in the system followed all of the rules to the letter the system would break down in pretty short order which is something that none of us would like to see happen.
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

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Out of context perhaps, however Duncan's comment "...the system is only made unsafe by the bad apples within it" is part of the fundamental problem I'm afraid. How to deal with the bad apples is, unfortunately, the other part of the fundamental problem. Education works with some of the people some of the time but for the remainder, enforcing the traffic laws is the only option. The choice is theirs.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (8) | Disagree (3)

The report says: "The Met will deploy officers at 166 key junctions to offer advice to anyone seen putting themselves or other road uses at risk, and issue fixed penalty notices to people breaking road traffic laws."

The first element of this initiative is about offering advice to help people stay safe. It is not simply about enforcement, as your post implies.
Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety News

Agree (11) | Disagree (4)

You can't punish safety into a system. You can do as much 'enforcement' (horrible Americanism) as you like and it will make not one jot of difference to the bottom line.

Enforcement, punishment and compliance are terms used by people who have an unshakeable belief in the underlying safety of the system and that the system is only made unsafe by the bad apples within it. Get rid of the bad apples so the thinking goes and the system will be much safer as a result.

What people fail to understand is that the system is fundamentally and profoundly unsafe and it is only the actions of the people within it that make it work as safely as it does. Mistakes and errors scrape away the thin veneer of safety and expose the underlying dangers within the system which will remain in place no matter how often you punish the wrongdoers.
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

Agree (9) | Disagree (2)

Have a look at the House of Commons debate August 1890 - yes 1890! We seem to have talked for a long time and got not very far. As vehicle design has a role in accident and injury level reduction perhaps we need to get them round the table with all parties. maybe we need members of SMMT to join RSGB?
Peter Wilson Westminster

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Honor: We need to be realistic about what is achievable. Unless the authorities can find a sure-fire way of reaching out to every single cyclist and every single lorry driver who may enter London's streets, AND get them to learn how to avoid these accidents, apart from the Police taking action on the spot when they can, which is a bit hit and miss, I don't see how the number of accidents which is very, very, low at the moment can be reduced any further. I think there comes a point when the law of diminishing returns must apply.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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Immediate enforcement operations are to be welcomed and let’s hope they make an immediate difference. However, enforcement alone is not a long term solution that will prevent these situations from arising.

To achieve prevention needs all the various parties to think hard and work together to devise solutions, which will probably be a combination of engineering, behavioural change by all road users involved, with further education and information as continuing reminders and enforcement.

I know that the Road Safety Professionals working within TfL and the London Boroughs are very able and willing to help solve this problem and keep it solved.

It's not as simple as either enforcement or talk; what we need is both, followed by a sustainable programme that works and keeps on working.
Honor Byford, Chair, Road Safety GB

Agree (14) | Disagree (3)

If the authorities are feeling pressured to 'do something' then this is more like it - action at the sharp end, rather than a discussion around the table - or 'summit', as it as been referred to in another story.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (10) | Disagree (1)