Lies about dangers from speed
Safe Speed Press information

 release date: 19th November 2002 title: DfT and TRL completely fail to justify claims of danger from speed number: PR100

DfT and TRL completely fail to justify claims of danger from speed

From email exchanges it appears that both the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) are unable to justify the official claims that "one third of road traffic accidents are caused by speeding". Further, they both seem to have an official line in deflecting enquiries with inadequate and incomplete references to the TRL document "A new system for recording contributory factors in road accidents" (TRL report 323)

SafeSpeed has published to the Internet word for word emails received from both the DfT and the TRL telling the same inadequate story. See web page:

Paul Smith says: "It's really quite astonishing to realise that our road safety policy is based on lies and fudged figures. You would think with the resources of the TRL available they could have taken a thorough approach which would withstand scientific scrutiny. But the cracks show clearly after only a few emails." 

A DfT email says: "The TRL Report "A New system for recording contributory factors in road accidents" (TRL Report 323)  examined both overall and critical factors in road accidents using a standard reporting system in eight police forces around the country.  When examining overall contributory factors, those with a significant speed element, e.g. not judging other's speed, skidding, following too close, in a hurry, etc account for around 30% of contributory factors." Which of course is complete nonsense. "Failing to judge other person's path or speed" (10.3% of definite accident causes according to the report) for example has nothing whatsoever to do with "speeding" but is used as part of the justification for rolling out many more speed cameras.

Simon Tonks who began the email exchange said "I was initially interested in more detail about the government claims, but as the exchange of emails unfolded I was amazed to realise that there was no scientific basis for the government's claim. I think the government assumes the average motorist is too stupid to see past such manipulation."

Paul Smith continues: "How can we expect to see continuing improvements in road user fatalities for example if our policies are based on such slim and misquoted evidence?. It's high time that the DfT and the TRL came clean and then perhaps UK road safety policies could be based on what their research proves and not on a twisted version of the facts." 

Editors are urged to read the web page, reference above.

Simon Tonks is a concerned motorist.

About Safespeed:
Safe Speed is the personal project of road safety campaigner and advanced motorist Paul Smith and argues for intelligent road safety policies based on driver responsibility.

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