Thursday, 4 October 2012


Letter to BBC Radio 4 -PM News - 4 OCT 2012.


BBC News today is broadcasting alarmist statistics about 17 to 25 year olds dying in cars. The insurance industry uses the alarm to justify the very high premiums imposed on young drivers. Health and Safety promoters want to ban this age group after 11pm. If you are remotely interested in reality – read on:


99.95% of all 59.5 billion annual road “trips” are safe. Road accidents are probably as minimal as they can be – other than banning all travel and keeping us all indoors.

17 to 24 year olds inclusive, an 8 years range, are 10% of drivers. They have 10% of the accidents; no more or less than other groups.

It is particularly upsetting when youngsters are permanently injured, but other groups of drivers are just as safe or dangerous.

The basic fault is that Driving Lessons do not include fast driving in adverse conditions – such experience on skid-pans, darkness, rain, gales, fog and ice should be mandatory.  Kids need to be frightened into realising the physical hurt that real crashes cause and that they are not in computer games.

There are 3,200 deaths a year on our roads – 61 each week; and 656 serious injuries a week; half are drunken pedestrians, some are from natural causes such as heart attacks – out of 1.1 billion safe trips per week.

Imposing curfews on 10% of drivers – about 3 million people – is wholly disproportionate to the few lunk-heads who crash their cars.

Life is risky. 

(I am a 69 year old driver, 1.1 million miles, with no crashes and I’d like 10% of drivers banned to clear the roads I use. But I cannot sit by and listen to bullshit statistics – for Heaven’s Sake BBC – learn to count and give the news with proper perspective)  

Yours statistically

Noel Hodson, Oxford

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