A passenger had a lucky escape when a bus hit a low bridge and had its roof sliced off in Edinburgh yesterday afternoon.The double decker crashed into a rail bridge near Murrayfield Stadium and fortunately the man on the top deck suffered only minor injuries after being thrown into the stairwell by the impact. Thankfully, the driver and three other passengers on the Go Bananas bus – which is hired out for stag and hen parties – also escaped unhurt. This incident serves as a prime example of the need for the proper risk assessment of business activities involving members of the public and highlights the dangers of the wholesale watering down of safety standards recommended by Lord Young in his recent ‘Common Sense Common Safety’ report to the government. In his report Lord Young proposed to remove the burden on business by removing the statutory requirement for formal risk assessment across a wide range of commercial and not for profit enterprises because he believed the they were not inherently dangerous and that a proportionate response to health and safety risk was needed. If a group of guys or girls had been upstairs on this bus at the time of the crash there would have been multiple fatalities and the tabloid press, quick to demonise accident victim compensation claims, would have been clamouring for evidence of route planning, driver training and of course, risk assessment… Let’s hope the lesson has been learned by all concerned with this incident and that other private and public operated bus operators in Scotland take note that the health and safety of their passengers has to be their prime responsibility. Health and safey legislation is not a burden on enterprise it is a positive engine of business value, not least because the costs to the insurance industry are reduced if we all take care on the roads and elsewhere. At least on this ocassion we are not looking at wrongful death claims in addition to bus and bridge repair costs. If you have been hurt or injured in an acident on public transport in Scotland within the last three years, please contact us for a FREE no obligation legal review of your case on 0800 163 978.
Scotland’s top police officers have said they would be concerned if funding for speed cameras became a victim of government budget cuts.The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (Acpos) spoke out toady after its sister organisation claimed lives would be put at risk as a result of UK Government spending cuts to the network south of the border. Mick Giannasi, who leads on road policing for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), which represents officers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, said he was trying to persuade Conservative and Liberal Democrat ministers to protect the cameras “for the future of our road safety”. Last month it emerged that Oxfordshire County Council was switching off all 72 of its fixed speed cameras as part of moves to save money, with other local authorities south of the border are also considering similar action. The UK Government cut £38million from this year’s road safety budget and ended central funding for speed cameras. Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of road-safety charity Brake echoed the calls. She said: “We agree with Mick Giannasi that if we do see speed cameras removed on a large scale, which seems likely to happen, it’s going to be a devastating blow to road safety. We know that cameras are very effective in cutting speeding which is vital for protecting all road users.” Having seen the devasting results of reckless driving, Bonnar & Company echoes the views of road safety experts – speed kills. If you or a member of your family have been involved in a road traffic accident caused by a speeding driver please contact our personal injury specialists for FREE expert legal advice and practical assistance. For a no obligation review of your claim please call freephone 0800 163 978.
In the budget today, it was announced that transport funding is likely to be cut by more than 25% by 2014, causing concern for the future of life-saving road safety measures.Brake, the Road Safety charity, believes that these measures will contribute to a rise in casualties and consequential costs to the emergency services, making such cut backs a false economy. There is to be an immediate cut to the road safety budget for the current year (2010/11) by a catastrophic 40%, made up of a 27% cut to the revenue grant of £20.6m and a £100% cut to the capital grant of £17.2m. The capital grant is used for road safety engineering measures such as pedestrian crossings and installation of fixed cameras and speed humps. The revenue grant is used for local authority-led local road safety partnerships, which carry out campaigns and education, particularly of young people, who are more likely to die on our roads than die from any other cause or illness and for costs such as maintenance of speed cameras. Despite the cutbacks, the Department for Transport does not expect there to be a direct correlation between the savage grant reductions for road safety and local authority expenditure on road safety, saying it is for local authorities to decide where their priorities lie across all their responsibilities and they are free to swap funding from one area to another. One road safety officer told Brake: “The major loss of funding this year, and the uncertainty of continued funding at all, may well result in the discontinuation of road safety partnerships with nothing to replace them. Road safety has been dropped and we can expect to see the death toll rise as a direct result.” Ellen Booth, campaigns officer for Brake, said: “Brake is outraged that road safety has been targeted so brutally – traffic is the biggest killer of young people and dangerous behaviour on roads causes thousands of horrific deaths and injuries of all ages every year in the UK. By targeting road safety, the government has shown they have no concern for the families of the future carnage we may see because of this irresponsible and short sighted cut of a vital life-saving service, and also no understanding of the enormous expense to the emergency services of road crashes and therefore the false economy of making these cuts. The government has sent a very powerful message to local authorities that life saving work in road safety is not important at all.” Bonnar & Company is all too familiar with the results of careless driving and poorly maintained roads and we are horrified by the government’s proposals. Most people would expect a new government to make safety on the roads a priority but it seems that we are being softened up for more swingeing cuts to health and safety expenditure across the board and that we can expect no favours from Lord Young’s forthcoming review. If you have been hurt or injured in a road traffic accident and would like an expert legal review of your case at no charge, please contact us on FREEPHONE 0800 163 978.