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Stop the Killing - Safe Roads for People - a recent protest at the notoriously dangerous Elephant & Castle roundabout in South London. Photo: Andrew Reeves Hall via Stopthekilling.
Stop the Killing - Safe Roads for People - a recent protest at the notoriously dangerous Elephant & Castle roundabout in South London. Photo: Andrew Reeves Hall via Stopthekilling.
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  • Mass TFL die-in, autumn 2013. Photo: Rory Jackson via stopthekilling.
    Mass TFL die-in, autumn 2013. Photo: Rory Jackson via stopthekilling.

The National Funeral for the Unknown Victim of Traffic Violence

Donnachadh McCarthy

29th July 2014

A major demonstration will take place in November to demand an end to the killing on Britain's roads, both direct and indirect, writes Donnachadh McCarthy. And now is the time to sign up, get involved, and build up the momentum for desperately needed change.

Please help spread the word and help make our roads fit for humans once again.

While over 26,000 people including cyclists, pedestrians and motorists have been killed in UK traffic collisions over the last decade, the actual death toll from our motorised traffic culture is actually horrendously far higher.

The NHS estimate that 50,000 people were killed by traffic pollution and Professor Garthwaite, from University of London, estimates that up to 400,000 may have died through physical inactivity due to lack of cycling infrastructure.

Transport CO2 emissions are also killing people due to their contribution to the four million people the UN estimates have died over the last decade due to climate change.

Hundreds of thousands more people across the UK are living with disabilities, lung and heart diseases caused by traffic pollution.

Finally there is a national obesity epidemic with over 25% of adults clinically obese and 30% of children overweight or clinically obese, as millions are too afraid to cycle to work or school due to the lack of cycling infrastructure.

All this is clearly is intolerable in a civilised country.

We must protest!

A major protest and mega Die-In is being organised on November 15th, 2014 in London to highlight this pyramid of death and disease caused by our current transport system and to launch 10 Demands for action by the government.

The protest is being organised by the Stop the Killing Coalition, which grew out of the Stop Killing Cyclists protests in London following the tragic spate of cyclist killings in November 2013.

The protest is called The National Funeral of the Unknown Victim of Traffic Violence. It will follow a hearse down London's Oxford Street and then place the symbolic coffin on a stand under Marble Arch.

The plan is then to hold the UK's largest ever Die-In, when the entire protest will lie on the ground surrounding the coffin, to signify the terrible carnage caused by our traffic. This will be followed by a rally where the protest will hear from families of victims.

Our 10 Demands

  1. Stop the Killing of Children - set up national, multi-billion pound programme to convert residential communities across Britain into living-street Home Zones to abolish dangerous rat-runs.

  2. Stop the Killing of Pedestrians - establish a national programme to fund pedestrianisation of our city and town centres, including the nation's high-street, Oxford Street.

  3. Stop the Killing of Pensioners from excessive speed - introduce and enforce speed limit of 20 mph on all urban roads, 40 mph on rural roads/lanes and 60 mph on all other trunk roads.

  4. Stop the Killing of Cyclists - invest £15 billion in a National Segregated Cycle Network over the next 5 years.

  5. Stop the Killing by HGVs - ban trucks with blind spots by making safety equipment mandatory and strictly enforce current truck-safety regulations, to reduce levels of illegally dangerous trucks down from estimated 30% to less than 1%.

  6. Stop the Killing without liability - introduce a presumed civil liability law on behalf of vehicular traffic when they kill or seriously injure vulnerable road-users, where there is no evidence blaming the victim.

  7. Stop the Killing from Lung, Heart and other Diseases caused by vehicular pollutants - make it mandatory for particulate filters that meet latest EU emission standards to be fitted to all existing buses, lorries and taxis.

  8. Stop the Killing at Junctions - introduce pedestrian crossing times long enough for elderly disabled to cross. Legalise filtered junction crossings by cyclists with strict legal priority for pedestrians and carry out urgent programme of physically protected left-hand turns for cyclists.

  9. Stop the Killing from Climate Crisis caused by CO2 emissions - all transport fuels to be from environmentally-sustainable, renewable sources within 10 years.

  10. Focus on Life! Transport governance must make safety and quality of life the top priority. Reform all council transport departments, the Department of Transport and Transport for London into Cycling, Walking and Transport Departments with formal pedestrian and cyclist representation.


Please endorse the campaign!

As transport is a major front-line on the battle to save our ecosystems from climate change, the protest is looking for endorsements from the environmental movement. The Campaign against Climate Change has already endorsed the protest.

Now Ecologist readers can sign up on our Facebook page (use the link, or search for "National Funeral for the Unknown Victim of Traffic Violence") to let us know they are coming.

But we are seeking to build as broad a coalition as possible beyond the environmental community and are asking Ecologist readers if they are members of community groups, trade-unions, student-unions, pensioner groups, schools or businesses, to please ask these organisations to tell their members about the protest and to endorse it.

A list of groups endorsing the protest is on the event's website www.stopthekilling.org.uk. An endorsement simply means that a group is willing to have its name added to the public list of endorsing organisations and businesses.

The National Funeral of the Unknown Victim of Traffic Violence is a clarion call to people across the UK to unite to bring this carnage and environmental destruction to an urgent end. It is being organised by grassroots activists and so is dependent on your grassroots support.

Please help spread the word and help make our roads fit for humans once again.

 


 

Donnachadh McCarthy is co-founder of Stop Killing Cyclists.

Facebook: National Funeral for the Unknown Victim of Traffic Violence.

Website: www.stopthekilling.org.uk.

 

 

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