Monday, 27 April 2009

Drivers die in hot cars

Road safety just never goes away as a news item. People continue to die in ludicrous numbers, the police continue to labour under the delusion that hiding speed cameras is an effective deterrent, and the media continue to not point out the obvious questions.

Take the article on the front cover of last Friday's Courier Mail: "Highway hoons on M1 race at triple the speed limit."

Now, obviously, nobody should be surprised if a small group of people decide that a wide, straight, well-maintained section of highway will make for a good bit of late-night fun. What's really interesting, however, is that these "hoons" claim to be "
middle-aged professionals and businessmen with the money to afford expensive modifications to their cars."

Question: If you can afford expensive modifications, can't you afford the entry fee for a track-day? Or, say, a dedicated race car and a competition licence?

Are you not, in actual fact, just embarrassed to admit that you can't go around corners very well?

And now we have this one: "Drivers dying in lone crashes, survey reveals."

Apparently, the police have investigated their crash data and noticed that just about half of all fatal accidents have been single-vehicle.


Superintendent Col Campbell's comment, that this
"may come as a surprise to those motorists who believed other drivers posed the only danger on the roads" is particularly fatuous.

Yes, most drivers certainly are labouring under the misapprehension that they're fine, it's everyone else who is the problem. But nobody is going to be surprised - if you're convinced that everyone else is an idiot, you won't be surprised that they keep crashing by themselves, will you?

Nobody is going to take these results as a warning to themselves, if they don't already think that they have a problem.

The really stupid part is this:

"We've looked at the causes of single-vehicle fatalities and they are the same causes as multi-vehicle crashes - alcohol, speed, fatigue, not wearing seatbelts, and you can throw inattention in there as well," Supt Campbell said.

I'm sorry, not wearing a seat belt is a cause of a crash, not a cause of getting hurt in the event of a crash?

Language such as this does not promote confidence in the authorities, it really doesn't.

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