Saturday, 1 November 2008

‘Roads are getting safer’

A £100,000 Ferrari literally wrapped itself around a telegraph pole after its driver lost control in Adelaide, Australia. The driver and his passenger walked away from the crash with minor injuries.

Whenever road casualty statistics are published showing a drop in fatalities or injuries some chump will blandly explain that roads are getting safer and Britain has the safest roads in Europe. In reality it is not roads which are getting safer but cars, which as this photograph demonstrates, allows reckless risk takers to walk away from the consequences of their actions without a scratch. To the vulnerable road users they hit it's a very different story.

The local case below shows the different consequences for a driver who caused a crash and had the benefit of an airbag, and a driver who didn't have one and who also wasn't wearing his seat belt:

A £300 fine and six penalty points for a man involved in a fatal car crash has been labelled “disgusting” by the victim’s family. Lee Barrett, 19, of Valence Wood Road, in Dagenham, was also ordered to pay £70 costs and a £15 victim surcharge after admitting driving without due care and attention in relation to a crash which claimed the life of father-of-ten Derrick Russell.

Mr Russell, 60, of Longcroft Rise, in Loughton, was killed when his Nissan Sunny was hit head-on by Barrett’s Renault Clio car in Pudding Lane, Chigwell, on November 26 last year. He was taken to hospital, but died of head injuries the next day.

Harlow Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday, October 21, that in his police interview Barrett, an apprentice electrician, had insisted that he had always stayed on his side of the road.A police investigation and subsequent inquest suggested Barrett had actually slid across the road while negotiating a bend at about 40mph and moved into the path of Mr Russell who had been driving in the opposite direction at about 20mph.