ISA and the 29% Lie
The relentless over-regulation of drivers and driving continues with the promotion of Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) by the Government's farcical 'Motorists' Forum.
The claim is that injury accidents could be reduced by 29% by fitting cars with ISA. The 29% is a figure spun from two entirely different 'contributory factors' for fatal accidents derived from flawed police 'box ticking' on STATS 19 forms: 12% for 'exceeding the speed limit,' and 17% for 'excessive speed for the conditions, UNDER the posted limit.' Clearly ISA cannot control inappropriate speed under the posted limit and the 29% claim is therefore demonstrably bogus.
Indeed this government continues to use deliberately misleading statistics to underpin the war on drivers. Even the short-sighted and biased parliamentary transport select committee (TRANSCOM) has finally seen the flaws in the Government's Killed or Seriously Injured (KSI) data, stating in a recent report that:
"Up to this point we have accepted the assurances of the government that its casualty data were robust and that good progress was being made on bringing down the number of people killed or seriously injured. Given the significant yet unexplained divergence in the trends for deaths and serious injuries, and given the growing body of evidence of changes in the reporting rates, we can no longer conclude that good progress is being made on casualty reduction. Indeed, we are worried that ministers are not challenging their officials sufficiently and that policy-makers and practitioners are being lulled into a false sense of security."
The ABD welcomes TRANSCOM's brief visit to the real world.
A safe driving speed must be related to the prevailing road conditions at all times — this can only be set by speed limiters in drivers' heads. ISA may well result in an increase in injuries on our roads because it could encourage 'foot to the floor driving' in the knowledge that the speed limit cannot be exceeded, and sends the wrong message that the speed limit is always the safest speed to drive at.
ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries said,
"ISA is another tool of 'Big Brother' government using GPS tracking of drivers in the name of road safety. If the government were genuinely confident that ISA would aid road safety, then they wouldn't need to make dishonest claims based on flawed and spun statistics. The speed of a vehicle is rarely the cause of an accident and the 'correct speed' for the prevailing road conditions cannot be set by a number on a stick. By attempting to tackle the 12% of fatal accidents purported to involve 'exceeding the speed limit' as a 'contributory factor', (which is distinct from 'cause') the danger is that the number of accidents under the posted speed limit involving 'excessive speed for the conditions' will increase well beyond the 17% currently claimed. ISA should therefore be renamed Un-intelligent Speed Adaptation."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Motorists' Forum members
House of Commons Transport Committee Report: 'Ending the Scandal of Complacency: Road Safety beyond 2010
Notes for Editors about the ABD