Thursday, 9 October 2014

Double standards.

It is interesting to read the report from the Department of Transport on the current state of car deaths and related accidents. Here, as in the most of the rest of the world, driving a car is a licensed activity, but once you have your licence, provided you can afford the insurance and the vehicle, you can drive anything you like in the domestic car range. The DoT states that 60% of people lose their life on Britain's rural roads approximately 862 deaths with another 7537 people being seriously injured.

The separation of rural and non-rural car deaths is, in my opinion, used to infer that rural drivers are in some way less safe than non-rural drivers. It does however omit the percentage of rural drivers to non-rural drivers who were killed in these accidents. With no figures that I could find, but speaking from experience, my money would be on a very high percentage of the car driving deaths being non-rural drivers, driving on rural roads as though they were on the stage of a rally. Additionally, a high proportion of the rural deaths I'll wager are rural people going about their lives when some maniac comes hurtling round a bend on the wrong side of the road, ploughing through either horses, sheep, cattle, or more increasingly deer, as well as pedestrians; there are rarely footpaths or pavements in the rural environment.

The extrapolated amount of car deaths per year, wherever they occur, is in excess of 1400, with over 12,000 serious injuries. Every single one of these numbers is a life and having any number in either of the categories, other than 0 is something we should all strive to address. So how about some common sense laws that would help reduce these terrible figures.

Firstly, lets require that anyone wanting to drive a car must have a good reason for needing to do so, after all, in most non-rural environments the train and bus infrastructure is so intense that you will see more buses in 5 minutes there than in a week in a rural situation. Then, should they be granted a licence, they should have to prove that they have used the vehicle in the previous 12 month period and have purchased sufficient petrol to enable the use of the vehicle over such distances. A vehicle can only be purchased with a licence, and any and all vehicles must be detailed on the said licence. If you wish to get a new or different vehicle you must apply for permission to change your vehicle, and you cannot get your new vehicle until the old one has been disposed of in the manner prescribed. Failure to purchase a vehicle within prescribed time periods, show use of vehicle, or purchase petrol, will all result in the revocation of the licence. Once revoked re-application will be required, but having previously had a licence revoked, for whatever reason, will count against you in this endeavour. Your licence will also be removed from you if you show signs of an anti-social activity whilst in possession of you vehicle or at any point during your normal daily life. Parking and speeding offences will not immediately see your licence revoked, but you must declare any offences incurred since the last time your licence was granted, when you re-apply at the prescribed 5 year interval. Now I am sure that these few small steps would go a long way to making our roads and streets a safer place.

All of the above and good amount of others, too numerous to mention, are applied to firearms owners. Falling foul, even in the slightest, will have the police at your front door in no time, eagerly waiting to remove your firearms. Firearms and cars are very dangerous items if used in an inappropriate way, and yet the misuse of a car or an accident involving a car very often does not, as a rule, generate enough interest to get a bye-line in the local paper. For some reason society seems to accept that killing 1400 people per year, every year is an acceptable price to pay for people to be able to drive their vehicle, however recklessly or irresponsibly they undertake that task.

No comments: