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News Report Page 3 of 12
Publication Date:-
2022-01-27
 
News reports located on this page = 2.

Progress in fight to make misogyny a hate crime welcomed by Police Commissioner

THE pressure is growing to make misogyny a hate crime in England and Wales, a move welcomed as another step towards keeping women and girls safe, 1 of the Police Commissioner's priorities. Emily Spurrell praised the action by House of Lord peers discussing the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, who voted to make a misogyny a hate crime by giving the courts the powers to treat it as an aggravating factor in any crime, and increase the sentences accordingly. The Bill will now go back to the House of Commons for MPs to have their say before returning once more to the House of Lords. Now, the Police Commissioner is urging MPs to do 'the right thing' and also vote for misogyny to become a hate crime.

Merseyside's Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said:- "For far too long, misogynistic attitude and behaviours have been normalised in society, often providing a platform for more serious offences. That has to stop. We must tackle misogyny wherever it exists. Until we do this, nothing will change in the fight against violence against women and girls. Recording where crimes are motivated by hatred of women will help us better understand the scale of the problem and, as a result, be better able to prevent these crimes and tackle the root causes. It will also giving victims greater confidence that if they come forward to report crimes they will be taken seriously. I'm delighted that peers in the House of Lords voted to pass the Baroness Newlove amends to the Policing Bill which would make misogyny a hate crime. This is a really positive step and I now strongly urge all Members of Parliament to follow their example and also do the right thing. Tackling Violence against Women and Girls is 1 of my absolute priorities as Police Commissioner. It is a commitment in my Police and Crime Plan and I will continue to lobby wherever I can for new legislation which will help to improve the safety of women in our Region."
 


Highway Code changes set to take effect this weekend

CHANGES to The Highway Code designed to enhance safety for all road users; particularly those most at risk; are set to come into effect, from Saturday, 29 January 2022, as the Government continues to build back safer. If approved by Parliament, a hierarchy of road users will be introduced this weekend, ensuring quicker or heavier modes of travel have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others on the road. Cyclists will also receive fresh guidance to ride in the Centre of a lane on quieter roads, in slower moving traffic and at the approach to junctions in order to make themselves as clearly visible as possible. They'll also be reminded they can ride 2 abreast; as has always been the case and which can be safer in large groups or with children; but they must be aware of drivers behind them and allow them to overtake if it is safe to do so. Meanwhile motorists will be encouraged to adopt the so called:- 'Dutch Reach,' opening the door next to them with the opposite hand so they look over their shoulder, meaning they're less likely to injure passing cyclists and pedestrians.

The Government's award winning THINK! campaign will soon launch a communications drive, backed by over ₤500,000 in funding, raising awareness of the changes and ensuring road users across the country understand their responsibilities. The campaign will run across radio and social media channels, with further campaign activity to follow later in the summer. The new updates are advisory, so non-compliance will not result in a fine.

Roads Minister, Baroness Vere, said:- "I'm proud to say we have some of the safest roads in the world, but I'm determined to make them safer still for everyone. These updates to The Highway Code will do just that by bringing the rules into the 21st century, encouraging people to respect and consider the needs of those around them, and ensuring all road users know the rules of the road.'"

The Government initially announced the detail of the incoming updates to The Highway Code to national media last summer. They follow a public consultation where nearly 21,000 people submitted their views, with the majority supporting every single 1 of the changes coming into force this weekend. The changes seek to improve the safety of those most at risk on our roads. Everyone has an equal right to use the road, and likewise everyone has a shared responsibility to behave in a safe and considerate manner. The Department for Transport engaged with key stakeholders while developing the changes, and a Highway Code Communications Working Group has been established, with industry working alongside Government to raise awareness. The changes will be made to the digital version of The Highway Code this weekend, followed by an update to the printed version which is due to be published in April 2022. 8 of the most significant changes are explained here.

Active Travel Commissioner for England, Chris Boardman, said:- "It shouldn't take bravery to cross a road or ride to School with kids but sometimes it feels that way. These changes to the highway code clarify our responsibility to each other and simply reinforce what good road users already do. This refresh does more than offer guidance though, it makes our towns, cities and villages nicer places to live."

The Government recognises the importance of The Highway Code keeping pace with the way in which people get about as well as with changes to transport infrastructure. For example, the updates recognise new cycle-friendly signals and cycle junctions, so people know how to use modern carriageways. Cyclists are also encouraged to consider training in order to have the skills, knowledge and confidence to ride safely and responsibly on the road. Last year, the Transport Secretary provided ₤18 million for Bikeability cycle training for children and families.

Emily Cherry, Chief Executive at The Bikeability Trust said:- "We welcome these changes to the Highway Code because they encourage all road users to share their space, whilst protecting the most vulnerable. Millions of children in England have been taught how to interact positively with other road users, thanks to Bikeability cycle training. We are pleased the updated Highway Code will now reflect the lessons we already teach children and help the next generation grow up as confident, competent and courteous road users."

RAC Head of Roads Policy Nicholas Lyes said:- "These major changes to the Highway Code should make the roads safer for the most vulnerable road users, in particular those walking and cycling, so are to be welcomed. But it's vitally important that all road users; especially drivers; take the time to fully understand what's new as some of the changes are a significant departure from what's gone before. For instance, drivers turning into a road should now give way to any pedestrians waiting to cross."

As we look towards a net zero future, safer roads will encourage more and more people to travel by foot, bike or public transport, helping reduce congestion and emissions. Improvements to road safety measures will also lead to fewer road traffic collisions, not only saving lives but also the billions of pounds spent every year on dealing with such collisions. As part of their work to improve road safety even further, the Department for Transport also recently announced plans to change the laws around using handheld mobile phones while driving. They will be made stricter later this year, making virtually any use of them behind the wheel illegal, with those caught breaking the law potentially facing 6 penalty points and a ₤200 fine.

What are your thoughts on this? Please email us to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com, and let us know.
 

 
      
 
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