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Sunday, 13 October 2013

Letter in Sunday Express 13/10/13

The following letter was published in response to a very shrill article and demands from BRAKE for longer sentencing of drivers who've had an accident. I highlight the published sections.
I am appalled that The Sunday Express is prepared to publish the unchallenged views of the ladies of BRAKE, a charity who have no qualification in road safety, expert driving, or prosecution and sentencing, on the serious issue of jailing drivers.

Allowing human beings to mingle with large essential machinery on the move, operated by people of very varied ability and skill, from sheer economic expediency, is bound to be risky, accident prone and fatal in some cases. Drivers are having to cope with children, adults, cyclists, animals, opposing traffic all in a manner that wouldn’t be tolerated for train drivers and airline pilots who are very highly trained and constantly monitored. So society, having set up this dangerous scenario, wants to jail people when it goes wrong? The numbers may sound shocking but the fact is that, after 300 billion driver miles a year, there’s less death on the road from all causes than from accidents in the home, and about five times less than from NHS failure and the many more from smoking related diseases too but how many NHS staff or tobacconists do we jail?

How can we jail people for an accident where, if it had not been for the horrid coincidence that human flesh intervened, the police wouldn’t have even attended let alone prosecuted for exactly the same action? So BRAKE’s assertion that death means, by definition, intentional dangerous driving is very wide of the mark and evidence that BRAKE should stick to victim support; a subject they at least know about and so far less of a threat to sanity of the road.


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