London, 28th September 2006.
For immediate release.

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Accident Causation Analysis means the end of the road for the "One-Third Lie"

The recently published Road Casualties Great Britain 2005 includes causation analysis of UK road traffic accidents (which have not existed in such depth of detail since the late 1950s). One wonders why this practice was allowed to be discontinued for 40 years.
 
The causation factors clearly delineate between accidents which have as a primary contributory factor "excessive speed for the conditions" only (while being within the posted speed limit) and those involving excessive speed that is above the posted limit.
 
These data wholly vindicate the ABD stance that excessive speed is a primary contributory factor in only 5% of road accidents. This represents the richly-deserved and gravely overdue final curtain-call for "The One-Third Lie": the much quoted - but UTTERLY FALSE proposition that: "one-third of all road accidents is caused by speed".
 
It is this heinous statistical misrepresentation that has brought about the current: "The answer's a speed camera, what's the problem?" road safety "strategy". The sooner it is summarily and unceremoniously laid to rest the better.
 
Most road traffic accidents are the result of a cocktail of road user observation, hazard perception and hazard response failings that remain completely unaddressed by the "one-size fits all" approach that is blanket speed enforcement. This is why speed cameras have been such a monumental road safety failure.
 
The Association of British Drivers therefore once again calls on government to adandon its near-persecution of the nation's car drivers and PTW riders by abandoning the indiscriminate, unsupervised — and at best road-safety irrelevant — use of automated speed enforcement techniques, and the immediate dissolution of all "Safety" Camera Partnership quangos.
 
It also suggests as an alternative the reinstatement of the tried-and-trusted road safety principles which stood us in such good stead in the six decades up to and including the 1980s. What we need is the re-creation of a balanced road safety régime in which road user Education & road safety Engineering are given precedence over Enforcement — which should be resorted to only in the very infrequent circumstances when the former two techniques have proved unsuccessful. This is the only approach which will yield meaningful further reductions in road casualties in the future.

 

 
Notes for Editors