ACPO has recently submitted a report to the transport select committee seeking motorcycles to be banned from certain areas under the banner of road safety.
Now, you might ask, what ACPO thinks it is doing getting involved in the lawmaking process; after all the police are there to uphold law, not create it. I could understand if their advice was sought regarding the policing of a proposal should it become law, but otherwise, I would expect them to shut up and do the job for which we pay them, that is; policing by consent of the electorate.
Well, I hate to say that I told you so but I did, back in February, when I quoted this article.
Motorbikes should be banned as part of a plan to eliminate road deaths, a safety expert has claimed.
The goal of stopping deaths on the roads has been set by a number of countries including Norway, Australia and Sweden, where the programme has been called “Vision Zero”.
But Norwegian safety expert Rune Elvik said for it to happen, policy makers should consider the radical step of banning motorbikes.
“If they are serious about these lofty road safety ambitions that have been announced then I think such a discussion is needed,” he said in an interview with Motor Cycle News.
“Motorcycling would definitely not be allowed.”
Your humble Devil's attention was drawn to this article by one of his mole's in the European Commission, who pointed out the EU was very interested in Vision 0.
CARS 21 is an EU Commission initiative and, according to my informant, that same Commission is very interested in adopting the Swedish Vision 0 for itself.
But this is a laudable aim, is it not? Well, yes and no because, you see, the EU Commission does not have a "stop" switch, nor even a "this is a fucking stupid idea" warning light; would that they did. And it is relevant because road safety is entirely in the hands of the Commission: the British government no longer has primacy over our road safety laws.
And my mole reliably informs me that the Commission has seized upon the idea that it is human error that causes accidents; thus, they have reasoned, the best way to remove human error would be to automate the driving process. As such, they have been looking at ways of doing this—and it could be integrated with the Galileo project too.
Unfortunately, there is a little fly in this ointment: although the Commission have decided that it would be relatively easy to automate car driving, it would be near impossible to automate the driving of another type of vehicle.
And so it is hardly surprising that ACPO should be proposing a very similar measure, for this is how the EU works. A little lobbying here, a little lobbying there; some pressure brought to bear here, threats of funding withdrawal there: it's the same old game over and over again.
Now, does anyone happen to know if ACPO has received any EU funding? Unfortunately, one cannot submit an FoI request because ACPO are exempt.
ACPO is a private company and the Office of the Information Commissioner has confirmed that the Freedom of Information Act does not apply to the Association, since Schedule 1 of the Act does not include a definition which covers ACPO.
If ACPO is a private company (which it is) who funds it? Who are the directors? Where do any profits go? Can anyone with access to Companies House find me ACPO's accounts for the last few years?
Because I have a bet on with myself that you will find that there is some EU funding on their accounts; other than that, I am also willing to bet that numerous police forces receive either direct or indirect funding from the EU.
Come in, motorcyclists: your number's up...