Iain Dale, the Conservative blogger and broadcaster, was very sceptical when he was forced to go on a course for speed awareness in order to save his driving licence, having been stopped doing 37mph in a 30mph zone.
He says: "I thought it would be a waste of time but it was better than losing my licence." The course, he recalls, was run by a middle-aged woman who said she never exceeded the speed limit. The attendees, who were not the boy racers Dale had expected but "virtually all over 40", were disbelieving until she explained that five years previously, her 13-year-old daughter had been hit by a car travelling at 37mph and was still receiving treatment for the injuries she sustained.
The key message Dale took away was that while half of people hit by a car going at 30mph can expect to survive, only 10% will at 40mph. "So yes, the course did have an impact on my behaviour and I became much more aware of what other people do, too," he explains. He was also struck by the fact that everyone on the course thought that motorways were the source of many accidents when, in fact, they are responsible for just 6% of fatalities even though they account for nearly a quarter of vehicle mileage.
Dale had been opposed to speed cameras and while he remains sceptical his view about them has changed: "I think they should all be relocated to urban areas where they can have a real impact in ensuring people stick to 30 mph, and that will save lives".
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Changing Drivers' Behaviour
Christian Wolmar has writtena very good article for The Guardian on changing drivers' behaviour. And it's not just good because he quotes me!