London, 15 Jun 2001.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

"Speed Kills!" - A Dismal Failure In Reducing Accidents!
Trends in new national road accident figures are disappointing, says drivers' group.
The Association of British Drivers today called for a less simplistic attitude to road safety as accident figures fell by only 27 across the UK - less than 0.008% overall. Government figures show that there were only 14 fewer fatalities and 967 fewer serious accidents in 2000 than in 1999. In contrast, the number of slight accidents rose by 954 - 5,658 more than in 1989. This despite the huge increase in the number of vehicles fitted with airbags and ABS brakes.

Mark McArthur-Christie, Spokesman for the ABD:

"These figures are not surprising. Drivers are now told that sticking to a speed limit is all that matters. If safe driving was really this simple, we could give out licences on the back of cornflake packets and ditch the driving test."

"If speed is the real villain, the millions of pounds spent on lower speed limits, traffic calming, hard-line enforcement and the 'Kill your Speed' campaign should have slashed accident rates; instead we've seen little change since 1992."

The ABD has called for a new approach to road safety, emphasising the need for better education and training for all road users. McArthur-Christie states
"We need to see a move towards educating and training drivers to observe and anticipate - that makes sure we stop accidents before they happen. We don't want to see drivers tearing around irresponsibly, but rather than fitting speed limiters to cars or lower limits on the roads, we need to look at what really causes accidents - inattention, lack of concentration and poor observation."
For the future, the ABD wants to see balance return to the "3Es" of road safety: Instead of focusing almost solely on reducing speed, the Association believes that the 3Es should emphasise the whole range of safe driving skills.

Notes for Editors