|London, 25 May 2000.
For immediate release.
'Driving too fast in the wrong place is lethal, but at the moment all drivers are told is to kill their speeds and slow down. In some places this is absolutely right, but we could have a far greater impact on road deaths and injuries by taking a broader approach.'
The focus on speed and speed limits comes in the wake of some local authorities imposing blanket 30mph limits on many roads which were previously set at higher speeds. McArthur-Christie continues:
'Safe driving is about so much more than simply sticking to a posted speed limit. Drivers need to be taught to look further ahead, plan what they are going to do in advance and anticipate the actions of other road users. We're concerned that focusing on speed limits to the exclusion of other factors may make drivers slower, but it could lull them into a false sense of security and actually cause more accidents. They'll think all they have to do to be safe is stick to a limit. Zero tolerance may mean people drive slower, but it's unlikely to reduce the accident rate.'
The ABD believes many people regard driving as a peripheral activity, rather than as something that needs 100% concentration. McArthur-Christie concludes:
'Too many people get in the car, turn the ignition on and turn their brains off. They're told all the time that just doing 30 will make them safe, but nothing could be further from the truth. We need to see a real emphasis on drivers improving their skills, not simply getting them to drive slower. We want to see a real shift to better driving, not simply slower driving.'