Road safety strategies targeting the average driver have been a dismal failure, says Car Review website

Editor-in-Chief Clive Matthew-Wilson, who is a respected road safety activist, says:

“The vast majority of deaths at Christmas involved reckless behavior. Road accidents involving reckless behavior are rarely caused by the average driver. Instead, these accidents are usually caused by the very young, the very poor, the very distracted, the very reckless and the very blotto.

Matthew-Wilson mentions several studies showing that people with little education are much more likely to die in crashes.

A 2015 American study showed that the road fatality rate of the less educated was 4.3 times the road fatality rate of the more educated.

“Tragically, this less educated group are the most likely to drive blotto, recklessly and not wear seat belts. So if we are to improve road safety in the long term, we need to improve the educational outcomes of the poor.”

“Radars seem to be a magic solution,
but they are not: they alienate ordinary motorists without affecting the behavior of the tiny minority who cause the vast majority of fatal crashes involving speed.

“For example, during a tragic accident at Christmas, five young children unattached were thrown from a stolen car that had just been used in a robbery. Could the government explain how the installation of mass radar could have prevented this accident? “

“The sad reality is: 85% of fatal accidents occur below the speed limit, and the drivers who cause most speed-related crashes tend to ignore speed limits anyway.

A 2009 AA analysis of fatal accidents indicated that many fatal accidents are caused by:

“People who don’t care about any sort of rules. These are men who speed up, drink, don’t wear seat belts, don’t have a valid license or WoF – who are basically renegades. usually wrapped around a tree, but they can also exceed a yellow line and also eliminate other motorists. “

Matthew-Wilson adds that teaching motorists and bikers advanced skills never worked. “In fact, numerous studies have shown that teaching drivers and drivers advanced skills can actually increase the number of crashes, making those drivers and drivers overconfident.”

All high-risk groups are virtually immune to road safety messages. In fact, there is no credible evidence that asking people to drive safely works. Numerous studies have shown that the millions spent on road safety messages have simply been wasted. “

Matthew-Wilson thinks reducing the road toll is simple:

Move freight from large trucks to rail, do it more difficult to obtain a motorcycle license and re-target law enforcement on high-risk groups, such as drivers using cell phones and do not wear a seat belt.

However, Matthew-Wilson believes that modernizing the road network is the most important step in reducing road tolls.

“The government should
stop building big highways
, and instead focus on improving the safety of the entire road network. New Zealand roads are like a staircase without a handrail;
you make a mistake, you will hurt yourself.

A study by Monash University of the effectiveness of the installation of roadside fences and median barriers concluded that: “reductions of up to 90% in fatalities and serious injuries can be achieved, with no signs of increasing road injuries for motorcyclists ”.

Matthew-Wilson adds that the government has consistently ignored cheap and easy ways to reduce road tolls.

“Why are commercial vehicles still allowed to have deadly blind spots? Truckers often don’t see the cyclists they kill, yet the technology allowing drivers to have a 360 ° view around their vehicles is easy to install and inexpensively.

“The government has known for twenty years that daytime running lights can reduce daytime accidents by 25%. So why aren’t these lights installed on all vehicles? “

© Scoop Media

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