PR136: Wide Support for Windscreen Pillar Revelations
Safe Speed Press information

 release date: 4th August 2004 number: PR136

PR136: Wide Support for Windscreen Pillar Revelations

News: for immediate release. 

A joint press release between Bike Magazine and Safe Speed.

Recently Safe Speed and Bike magazine joined forces to highlight a forgotten road safety issue. In an article published in the September 2004 issue of Bike magazine it is revealed that many road accidents may be caused when drivers fail to see other road users who are momentarily obscured by windscreen pillars.

Rich Beach, news editor of Bike magazine said: 

"Before the magazine had even hit the shelves, we started receiving responses, from bikers, from car drivers who recognise the problem and from safety experts who support our work. We've started something big here, but we must ensure the public - not just motorcyclists - learn about the dangers of screen pillar blind spots immediately - every road user is at risk. The next step is to get the Department for Transport to air an educational campaign on television and get the message out there. There is greater potential to cut road deaths and pedestrian casualties by making drivers aware of their reduced vision, than by making us all watch our speedos."

Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign said: 

"It was great working with Bike Magazine to highlight this important issue. The most important thing we can do is to ensure that all road users understand the danger."

Kevin Clinton, RoSPA Head of Road Safety, said: 

"Car manufacturers should do all they can to minimise blind spots caused by A-pillars. But drivers must also take the time to look properly at junctions and move their heads so they can see into any blind spot created by the A-pillar to make sure there isn't another vehicle or two wheeler hidden from their first glance."

Motorcycle industry association (MCIA), Director of Public Affairs Craig Carey-Clinch, said: 

"Bike's article is timely given increased motorcycle safety concerns. MCI has long suspected that the screen pillar issue is one which needs attention drawn to it and are glad that PACTS and others share the same view.

It has to be accepted that passenger protection will remain a priority for car manufacturers -- as it is for the public -- and we look to car manufacturers to continue to develop visibility solutions to this issue.  However, such protection should not come at the cost of primary safety and it seems clear that once again car driver standards are under the spotlight -- a huge screen pillar does not divorce drivers from their responsibility to ensure that even with this limitation, they take care on the road and look before they pull out into the possible path of other vehicles, taking into account the fact that something may be hidden in the blind spot -- there is simply no excuse for not doing so.

Motorcyclists also have a responsibility to take note of 'Bike's' Article and remember that the driver at the junction ahead may not have seen him or her. It's not enough to simply go on about blame after the accident has happened and you're in hospital -- or worse. Riders need to take care that their riding mitigates the risk of accidents and this means looking out for careless or thoughtless car driving.

Government has a role to play as well. The recent 'now you see him now you don't' TV advert partly addresses this very issue, but Government should also consider how drivers can be warned further about the risk posed by the screen pillar blind spot. MCI looks to ministers and road safety organisations to take the lead here."

Jeff Stone, Spokesman for the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) said: 

"'Looked but failed to see' has been shown to be a major cause of car/bike collisions and BIKE's investigation has unearthed what is probably a major part of the problem.

Volvo have obviously already recognised the A pillar problem and due credit must go to them for their see-through project, but if they've recognised it, so have others, it's just that no one else is addressing it.

The BMF will now be raising this issue with the DfT and calling on NCAP to measure the driver's field of vision as part of their process. We also support Paul Smith's initiative in getting the Highway Code to cover the issue. It will now form part of our own submission, currently underway, to the new Highway Code."

Spen King, Former Chief Engineer for Rover Cars, said: "I've been working hard to highlight the dangers of screen pillars, yet it has proved very difficult to get anyone to take any notice. Meanwhile I believe there are likely to be many deaths annually."


Notes for editors

See earlier press release:

See much more detail on this web site:

See the bike magazine article:

Covershot of Bike Magazine September issue:
Medium res:
High res:

SMIDSY.ORG.UK is a web site within Safe Speed set up some time ago to highlight this specific problem.

For more information contact:

Paul Smith, of Safe Speed is available for interview, telephone 01862 832000/07799 045553 email For more information on Safe Speed log on to

Genevieve Potter, PR Manager, emap Automotive 01733 468524/07703 128108 email

Adam Duckworth, publisher for Bike magazine is available for interview, telephone 01733 468862 mobile 07881 500506 / mobile email

About Bike magazine:-

Bike magazine is the UK's biggest selling motorcycle monthly magazine with a circulation of 100,093 (abc Jan-Dec 2003)

Bike magazine is published by emap Automotive

emap Automotive is the UK's leading car and bike media company and aspires to be the world's biggest and best. The business encompasses magazines, websites, major shows and conferences, across consumer and business to business markets.

emap Consumer Media comprises the majority of the company's consumer magazine portfolio in the UK and overseas, with the exception of France. Over 70 titles in the UK, many with market leading positions serve the motoring (emap Automotive), special interest (emap Active), women's and youth (emap Elan), women's weeklies (emap Entertainment) and men's lifestyle and style (emap East) markets. FHM and all its businesses - UK and International - is now a division in its own right within eCM and publishes editions in 20 countries, including the UK, France, Australia and the US.

emap plc is one of the UK's leading media companies.  emap plc leads the marketplace with a strong portfolio of over 400 products including FHM, Kiss, Heat, Nursing Times, Health Service Journal, Spring Fair, MaxPower, Kerrang! and Smash Hits!.  It owns and develops leading edge brands in radio, TV, consumer magazines and B2B (magazines, conferences and exhibitions) in the UK, France and around the world.

If you want more information about emap log onto

About Safe Speed

The Safe Speed road safety campaign is primarily the work of engineer-turned road safety analyst Paul Smith.

Since setting up Safe Speed in 2001, Paul Smith, 49, an advanced motorist and road safety enthusiast, and a professional engineer of 25 years UK experience, has carried out about 5,000 hours of research into the overall effects of speed camera policy on UK road safety. We believe that this is more work in more detail than anything carried out by any other organisation. Paul's surprising conclusion is that overall speed cameras make our roads more dangerous. Paul has identified and reported a number of major flaws and false assumptions in the claims made for speed cameras, and the whole "speed kills" system of road safety.

The inescapable conclusion is that we should urgently return to the excellent road safety policies that gave us in the UK the safest roads in the World in the first place.

Safe Speed does not campaign against speed limits or appropriate enforcement of motoring laws, but argues vigorously that automated speed enforcement is neither safe nor appropriate.

Contact Safe Speed:

email :     
telephone: 01862 832000 anytime.      
mobile: 07799 045553      
note: the mobile does not work well at our office. Always try land line first.      
Location: North Scotland      

We are available for press and media interviews.

Back to Press Release Index Page

We have a strict editorial policy regarding factual content. If any fact anywhere on this web site can be shown to be incorrect we promise to remove it or correct it as soon as possible.
Copyright © SafeSpeed 2004
Created 4/08/2004. Last update 4/08/2004