PIP, Mobility and Road Accidents

By:A.C.

Police Scotland have announced a new Road Traffic Campaign. The quotes copied below are from the press release. This campaign is aimed at drivers in Aberdeen and Moray, because 8 more fatal crashes have been identified over the last year which seem to be linked to the factors quoted.

Superintendent George McDonald is quoted thus;

“Driver’s health/age and medical conditions were features in a total of eight collisions”
“Operation CEDAR will also look to tackle poor driving standards, health issues and declining ability to drive due to, for example, eyesight, medication, medical conditions, mobility and confidence to drive in certain conditions.”

I am not a researcher in health, social welfare or the wider area of road accidents, but I do have a more common–sense gut–feeling about what is happening.

Is it coincidental that the increase in fatal road accidents involving the above quoted factors, are concomitant with the start of austerity cuts by the DWP which have affected the disabled in particular?

I am highly suspicious that the increase in road accidents due to the reasons stated by Superintendent, George MacDonald, of Police Scotland, are down to people being forced to take risks by driving, because benefit has been stopped, bus passes are no longer valid, and simply put, folk need to get to hospitals, doctors and other services. So they might start driving again because they have no option.

The DWP have altered the criteria for PIP, or the receiving of the higher rate of mobility. So people who did receive Mobility before no longer receive it.

Clearly I cannot provide figures or research on this observation. Based purely on the fact that Bus Passes are authorised in the circumstances below, it is my opinion that Welfare cuts affecting the disabled, will naturally force people to do things they might otherwise not attempt.

Quote from Transport Scotland:

“If you’re a resident in Scotland, aged 5 or over and meet one of the following criteria, you’re entitled to free bus travel with the National Entitlement Card:
You receive the Disability Living Allowance under the higher rate of mobility or higher/middle rate of care. Include a DBD384 letter from the Department of Work and Pensions, dated within the last year, in your application.
You receive the standard or enhanced rate of Personal Independence Payment. Include the award letter (dated within the last year) from the Department of Work and pensions in your application.
You receive Attendance Allowance. Include a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions, dated within the last year, in your application.

I think that the Police have identified factors in the Road Traffic Accident figure that are very concerning, but I doubt that they are collecting figures for how many of those fatalities were forced back on the road by the squeeze on Mobility Allowances, withdrawal of PIP, or ineligibility for a bus pass. These could well be a causal factor in people’s behaviour in order to just live and get about.

I think this type of Road Accident falls into the Law of Unforeseen Consequences. More evidence is needed though, to show that this UK Government and its apparent attack on the disabled, poor and sick of society is having far reaching effects in ways they could not foresee.

Supt. MacDonald says he is working with many other agencies. Then maybe he should find out from a “partner agency” if the person was forced off mobility and had little option but to drive, because they had been denied a Bus Pass, Mobility or were disabled but required to attend at Jobscentres, in order to receive allowances.

It just seems to me, that taking away options and punishing people for no reason will lead to utter despair and people taking risks they would not otherwise contemplate.

Share with us your comments and views on this. The only evidence available is that of the fatality at a scene of a Road Accident. Can you give us your experience if a Bus Pass has been denied, or “The Law of Unforeseen Consequences” is now operating where you are now less mobile and because of Welfare Cuts?

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