A message from Donnachadh McCarthy…
Wow! It’s Today!! One of the biggest days of my life to date!! Gulp!!!
The first ever National Funeral for the Unknown Victim of Traffic Violence, which I have helped organise, will start today in Bedford Square, assembling from noon for a 1pm start.
A lone piper will lead a horse drawn hearse with a single coffin.
They will be followed by over a thousand protesters, including survivors, victims’ families and a range of grassroots protesters, including pedestrian, cycling, equestrian, motorist, ecological, pensioner, children, health and climate change campaigners.
It will proceed down a packed Oxford Street, the nation’s premier shopping street, on one of the busiest shopping days in the year!
The lone coffin will be a stark reminder to those tens of thousands of shoppers of all those who have been killed or maimed or poisoned by the capital’s most dangerous and the world’s most polluted high-street. It must be pedestrianised.
The funeral protest will then proceed to Marble Arch – where in a unique and dramatic tableau, the lone coffin will be placed on a catafalque under the arch and a staged Die-In will take place. The plaza will be filled with people lying down on the ground surrounding the lone coffin.
They/we will be representing the following Pyramid of Death from Traffic Violence over the last decade (2003-12):
UK Cyclists Killed: 1,233 (DoT)
UK Pedestrians Killed: 5,787 (DoT)
UK Motorists Killed: 19,293 (DoT)
UK Patients Killed by Transport Pollution 50,000 (NHS)
UK residents killed through physical inactivity
due to lack of cycling infrastructure (estimated): 400,000 (Prof. Garthwaite, UCL)
Ten Year Total Killings 476,313
This is the equivalent of the population of Manchester!
Globally Killed due to Climate Crisis Emissions including traffic emissions 4,000,000 (UN) (ten years)
Total Cyclists killed seriously injured or injured 198,000
Total Pedestrians killed, seriously injured or injured 298,300
Total Motorists killed, seriously injured or injured 1,913,502
Total killed, seriously injured or injured on UK Roads 2,409,802
This is the equivalent of the entire populations being injured or killed of Birmingham (1.1 million), Glasgow (0.6), Cardiff (0.3) and Manchester (0.5) combined!
The coffin will also represent hundreds of thousands more living with terrible cancer, heart disease, lung diseases, diabetes and all the other terrible disabilities resulting from our lethal traffic culture.
And then we will have a rally hearing from these grassroots protesters, survivors, and victims’ families.
But we are not there just to pay respect to the dead, the maimed and those living with terrible diseases, we will be there to make our 10 Demands on our governments of all parties, who have so far failed to protect our lives and our health by adopting a policy of UK streets fit for humans.
Our 10 Demands are:
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 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.
6. 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%.
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 CO2 emissions from impacts of the climate crisis. 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.
Thanks to everybody who is coming today or who is helping in any way to make today happen.
Yes We Can! 😎
Donnachadh and all in the Stop The Killing Coalition and Stop Killing Cyclists Team x