Road safety charity hits out at savage budget cut backs

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.

“Lord help us” – Tory peer to review health and safety legislation

In a move aimed at targeting the so-called ‘compensation culture’, the new government has already got health and safety legislation firmly in its sights. 

David Cameron has today announced the appointment of the Rt Hon Lord Young of Graffham as Adviser to the Prime Minister on health and safety law and practice. Lord Young will undertake a Whitehall-wide review of the operation of health and safety laws and the growth of the compensation culture.

He is expected to report to the Prime Minister in the summer and will investigate concerns over the application and perception of health and safety legislation, together with the rise of the compensation culture over the last decade.

Commenting on the review the PM said:

“I’m very pleased that Lord Young has agreed to lead this important review. The rise of the compensation culture over the last ten years is a real concern, as is the way health and safety rules are sometimes applied.”

Commenting on his new role, Lord Young said:

“Health and safety regulation is essential in many industries but may well have been applied too generally and have become an unnecessary burden on firms, but also community organisations and public services.”

As urban myths go, the rise of the compensation culture takes some beating – and now it has received government approval! As personal injury solicitors we see no evidence at all to suggest that the overall number of compensation claims has increased during the last decade. In fact all the evidence points towards the opposite conclusion. 

Lord Young would do well to heed a statement released today by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. Tom Mullarkey, RoSPA chief executive said:

“Let’s not forget that accidents are the principal cause of death among under-35s and that the number of people dying in accidents is going up – the figure currently stands at around 13,500 accidental deaths each year in the UK. There is no room for complacency.”

Quite…

If you have been hurt or injured in an accident or have developed an industrial illness, you can call us FREE on 0800 163 978 for no obligation expert legal advice from a qualified personal injury solicitor. 

Bonnar & Co. launch Headway charity car raffle

‘Hats for Headway Day in Scotland’

Gaille McCann and Catriona MacGregor, Headway Regional Co-ordinators in Scotland help launch the Headway Car Raffle and celebrate ‘Hats for Headway’ with Bonnar & Company Solicitors in Airdrie.

Headway UK, the brain injury association, promotes understanding of all aspects of brain injury and provides information, support and services to people with a brain injury, their families and carers.

Hats For Headway Day is an annual fundraising event designed to increase awareness of brain injury and Headway’s work in the community.  

Bonnar & Company, Scotland’s leading independent firm of personal injury solicitors working solely on behalf of accident victims and their families throughout Scotland, is donating the star prize, a Vauxhall Corsa Sri, in the Headway UK raffle 2010.

The firm is also donating an ipod as an extra prize in the raffle.

Forgotten victims of Gulf oil rig disaster

Nearly two weeks after the tragedy, relatives of the men who died on the Deepwater Horizon plan private memorial services as the world choses to focus on the environmental impact of the worst oil spill in history.

The oil rig was positioned 50 miles south of the Louisiana coast and it is now the final resting place of the following 11 men who died in the explosion on 20th April 2010:

Aaron Dale Burkeen, 37, from Mississippi.

Karl Kleppinger Jr., 38, from Mississippi.

Dewey Revette, 48, from Mississippi.

Shane Roshto, 22, from Mississippi.

Roy Kemp, 27, from Louisiana.

Donald Clark, 49, from Louisiana.

Stephen Curtis, 40, from Louisiana.

Blair Manuel, 56, from Louisiana.

Gordon Jones, 29, from Louisiana.

Jason Anderson, 35, from Texas.

Adam Weise , 24, from Texas.

By any yardstick, loss of life on this scale is a major tragedy. We hope that the cause of the explosion is identified as quickly as possible and that health and safety lessons are learned and implemented throughout the oil and gas industry, in all regions of the world where drilling operations are proceeding. Operator safety should be of paramount importance in hazardous environments where workers have the right to expect the highest possible standards that their employers can achieve.

More people killed at work than in wars says TUC

Personal injury solicitors and their clients often get vilified in the media for creating the so-called ‘compensation culture’.

Critics are quick to dismiss workplace health and safety legislation as being so much ‘red tape’ which stifles enterprise and they rush to stigmatise accident victims as scroungers. If these people could see some of the tragic cases firms like Bonnar & Company deal with, their attitude towards hurt and injured workers would surely change.

According to the TUC website today:

‘Every year more people are killed at work than in wars. Most don’t die of mystery ailments, or in tragic “accidents”. They die because an employer decided their safety just wasn’t that important a priority. Workers’ Memorial Day commemorates those workers.’

Worker’s Memorial Day is held on 28 April every year, all over the world workers and their representatives conduct events, demonstrations, vigils and a whole host of other activities to mark the day. In South Lanarkshire, the local authority and the Unison branch are holding a seminar on health and safety, followed by a commemoration and wreath laying at the Workers Memorial plaque in the grounds of the council head quarters.

If you or a member of your family have been hurt or injured at work please contact Bonnar & Company Solicitors today FREE on 0800 163 978 for expert legal advice and a no obligation review of your case.