London, 2 Nov 2004.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

Shrines Should Save Lives
ABD Calls for Shrines to Road Crash Victims to Save Lives by Telling People Why the Accident Happened
Following reports that Councils are to ban floral tributes to road accident victims, the ABD is proposing a better solution; one which allows such shrines to play a more important role in raising awareness of danger on the road.
Floral tributes are undeniably important to grieving relatives but their usefulness in preventing future accidents is undermined by the reluctance of local authorities to release details of what caused the accident. Such details, combined with the floral tribute, would send a powerful, targeted message to road users which would save lives in the future.
"When people see a floral tribute to a victim, they aren't told what caused the crash, so they don't know whether or how to change their own behaviour to prevent the crash happening again," said ABD Road Safety Spokesman Mark McArthur-Christie. "We would like to see full information published on the causes of fatal accidents, and, where a shrine is appropriate, it should tell people why the accident happened."
The best legacy to any road accident victim is for their death to be used to prevent a similar tragedy happening again. That isn't happening at the moment.
What is needed is a structured approach by Local Authorities to work with grieving relatives to maximise the safety impact of the tributes.
Without this, it's all to easy for shrines to be used to fuel ignorance of the true causes of road crashes and to stoke up hysteria in favour of inappropriate and ineffective "safety" measures.
What is needed is a common format which includes signage describing the cause of the accidents: "A campaign like this would be a hugely positive step both towards reducing casualties and helping the relatives of crash victims come to terms with their loss," concluded the ABD's Nigel Humphries.


Notes for Editors