ABD Calls For "More Honest Approach" To Road Safety
95% of crashes do not involve exceeding the speed limit
Latest figures from the DfT1
reveal 2,222 people were killed on UK roads in 2009. 95% of crashes do not involve exceeding the speed limit and 83% of deaths (around 1,844 people) occur within the speed limit. The 17% of deaths where exceeding the speed limit was ticked as a 'factor' are of course a significant number, around 378 people. However we must remember that a 'factor' is very different from a 'cause' and officers are instructed to tick the 'speeding' box even if the vehicle that caused the crash wasn't speeding but another vehicle involved was or might have been. What we are not told is just how many of these 378 deaths are caused by sober, otherwise legal drivers traveling a few MPH above the speed limit and how many were caused by drunk, drugged, unlicensed, drivers of stolen cars or those traveling at reckless speeds.*
The prime target of UK road safety policy at present is licensed drivers exceeding speed limits by a small amount. These make up the vast majority of camera prosecutions. The ABD today calls upon the authorities to reveal exactly how many 'over speed limit' deaths are caused by such drivers. Only when the full facts are revealed can we tell if current policy is correctly targeted or should emphasis be shifted. The ABD have tried for many years to obtain true figures on this issue and have continually met with obstruction. We have called for an independent road accident investigation board manned by ex-marine & aviation industry accident investigators. Perhaps with a new government in charge we may see a more honest approach?
*In a Sunday Telegraph interview, Paul Garvin, then County Durham Chief Constable, said: "Having looked at the accident statistics in this area, we find that if you break down the 1,900 collisions we have each year only three per cent involve cars that are exceeding the speed limit. Just 60 accidents per year involve vehicles exceeding the speed limit. You then need to look at causes of these 60 accidents. Speed may be a factor in the background but the actual cause of the accident invariably is drink-driving, or drug-driving. The cause of accidents is clearly something different than exceeding the speed limit and we ought to be looking at those other factors."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. DfT — Road Casualty Statistics
Notes for Editors about the ABD