Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Driving the ABD mad

Loony driving lobby group the Association of British Drivers has got twisty knickers again, over a report suggesting an across the board reduction in urban road speeds to a maximum of twenty miles an hour.

The group, which also worships climate change denial, claims that drivers will kill ten times more people because the reduced speed limits will force drivers to glue their eyes to their speedometers. Yup, I know it seems too stoopid to be true. But read it for yourself.

ABD blow hard Nigel Humphries said:

"All you achieve by making people drive down the road looking at their speedometer is 10 times as many deaths and that's before you cause more accidents because people aren't looking where they're going."

Okay, I know Mr Humphries' sentence doesn't make much sense, and I'm sure there's nothing in the Highway Code or the proposals that makes "people drive down the road looking at their speedometer" forsaking all other considerations. Bjorn Lomborg would be jealous at Humphries' ability to pluck something as eye-catching as "10 times as many deaths" out of the air without providing any evidence to back it up.

By the way, sack the lazy BBC journalist who couldn't be bothered to ask. I suspect that if Humphries had claimed that speed cameras were an EU/alien conspiracy to force us to buy cheese-flavoured petrol it would have been accepted with equal reverence.

Back to the research. Our Transport Research Laboratory survey said:

"20mph zones across the UK and in other European countries found child road accidents fell by 67%, cyclist accidents by 29% and traffic flow by 27%."

Hmmm. So no sign of a tenfold increase in deaths. And remember that's "before you cause more accidents because people aren't looking where they're going" - so that's a tenfold increase, plus whatever other number Humphries can come up with.

Did Nigel Humphries make the tenfold increase up, or can he substantiate his claim?

1 comment:

Michael said...

Perhaps Mr Humphries would like to volunteer for a scientific experiment: we could stand him in the middle of a road and drive vehicles, at various different speeds, directly at his legs.