Over the last couple of weeks, my local paper has reported that three youngsters under 20 have been killed on Horsham roads.
All needlessly – what a waste.
Just imagine the grief for families across the country. Just imagine the guilt for some in imagining they may have funded their child’s driving too soon, not realising the risks.
Youth versus mobility
I mention this because I know the statistics and this affected my actions recently.
After taking his theory test and a course of lessons, my 20 year old son decided he couldn’t afford to buy a car and insure it… as well as move to a flat in Brighton. So he postponed taking his test.
Looking back, I could surely have found some funds to contribute to his motoring plans but I didn’t. Quite the opposite actually, I heaved a huge but inward sigh of relief because I know the accident statistics relating to young drivers.
Even so, I realise that he and other non driving young adults could just as well be travelling in a young friend’s car and be killed as a result of their driving inexperience…
Can telematics make a difference?
Telematics ie having a black insurance-related box fitted in a car to measure/reward a drivers ability is probably making a difference to these statistics. Perhaps it has saved lives already if the young lady I met at a recent networking evening was typical.
‘I’m not going to be hurried by a car threatening me to speed up from behind’ she explained. ‘I know how my black box wants me to drive and I want to save money on my insurance premium… so I’m not going to hurry up, whatever.’
I suspect she was going to be a good ie safe driver whatever, whereas sadly a black box isn’t always going to stop young drivers from flooring the accelerator pedal when the testosterone kicks in.
FOXY legislation I’d like to see…
The fact is that nothing teaches young drivers how to drive safely better than experience itself when it comes to their understanding the dynamics of speeding and the affect of this on their car’s engine. And just for the record, this is why I don’t advocate raising the driving age from 17 here.
But age aside, if I were in charge, I would introduce FOXY legislation tomorrow and make it compulsory that, during the first two years after passing their test, all novice drivers…
1 …commit in writing to not drink and drive.
2 …have a black box fitted to their car.
3 …who drive badly afterwards are referred by their insurance company to the DSA who then decide whether to insist on the equivalent of PassPlus lessons or withhold their licence for 12 months before taking a second driving test (all at the driver’s expense).
4 …display a highly visible N plate on any car they drive. I’d add a phone line where motorists report dangerous N plate drivers they see; resulting in a similar formula as 2…
5 …have a speed limiter fitted, restricting their car to a maximum of 50 mph at all times.
6 …are forbidden to carry passengers other than older (hopefully responsible) adults/parents.
As I see it, we can EITHER do nothing and count young deaths OR we can do something radical in an attempt to save lives.
I’d prefer to do something, and at least I can make sure that Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport (including Road Safety) Stephen Hammond MP reads this blog via his Twitter address @SHammondMP.
But I’d like to know what you think. Are you with me or am I wrong in your eyes? By all means tell me what you think via my Twitter address @FOXYtweets. Or by emailing me on [email protected]
Just don’t tell me these FOXY measures would infringe young drivers’ human rights etc etc. That attitude makes me SO cross because it sounds as if grief-stricken parents don’t have human rights as well – to see their children thrive and live longer happy lives.