Former boxing champion Gary Mason was killed on Thursday morning (6 Jan) while cycling in Wallington. The driver of a white Vauxhall Combi van was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving.
I wonder if this was the same driver of a white Vauxhall Combi van that I reported to the police earlier this week on Roadsafe London for using a handheld mobile phone while driving? If so, he'll be getting a polite letter from the police to ask him to kindly obey the law in future. Too late. Not that it likely would have made any difference.
Many drivers don't think speeding or mobile phone use is a big deal, and however they drive it's up to other people to get out of their way. That's because there's not been a sustained Government campaign to stamp out these offences. With speeding, the Government are pressing ahead to remove speed cameras against the evidence and against the advice of anyone who knows anything about road safety. The prevailing attitude on mobile phone use is that everybody does it. According to the RAC, 28% of drivers admit to using a handheld mobile while driving. The reality is it is likely as dangerous as drink driving. Stand by any road and you'll see drivers using mobile phones, some of them doing so while they ineptly try to make a turn one-handed, in blissful ignorance of what's going on around them. If the Government wanted to, it could employ wardens to dish out penalties, and the scheme would be self-financing with the fine revenue, even before you factored in the reduction in costs to society from fewer crashes.
We don't yet know how Gary died. Was the driver speeding? Was he using a mobile phone? One thing is for sure: this Government is more interested in milking the 'war on the motorist' myth dry than stopping people dying needlessly on the roads from other people's criminal behaviour, and it's people like Gary and his family and friends who pay the price. They will likely get nothing approximating to justice either: based on previous cases, if found guilty the perpetrator will get a fine and a short driving ban, and he'll be free to kill again shortly. War on the motorist? People die in wars. The people dying in this war are the victims of criminal motorists, and as in most wars, the politicians are more concerned with the poll numbers than the body count.