EDlToR Maurlce A. Smlth D.F.o. TEcHN tCAL ED tToB Harry Mundy a.1f,.!.M.oh.E.,tr|s.a.E.,tl.E.!.a. SPORTa EDITOR Peter Garnler AaatSTANT EDtroBa Leonard A. Ayton, Ronald Barker MTDLAND EDtroB Edward Evee ART EOt?OR Howard Vyse

3 JAt{UARY r964

maIraOtl{o orREcToR H. N. Priaulx m.e.e.

No Cure Without Diagnosis FRUSTRATION is mired with the horror felt by responsible road usbrs over Qe terrible death roll on British roads at Chrismras time. What morc be done about inadoquate driving? Collisions can resulting in loss of life are unlikely to be caused by small errors or mis-judgments; these should bring no more ttnn bruiscs or dents. Why then do so many people do something p drastic on the roads as to lose their own and their passengers' lives?

This is ooe of several quemions about which insufficient is known, and too oftea reports of fatal accidents are lumped together in the newspaperq with few facts, and the pubtc is led to think that mmorists and drink are to blame-with perhaps the weather contribudrg. In fact, the figures may indude the old man wbo fell off his bicycle and a child who tumbled out of a car.

Few doubt thal drinking too much is a cause of, or contributes to, a high proportion of accidents at holiday times. Ve learn that hospital casualty departments have been kept busy dealing with all mamrer of injuries to people who had had n'plenty " to drink at Christmas and which had nching whatever to do with driving on the roads. Also a teetotal driver may run into an intoxicated pedestrian who weaves on to the road but bad or confusing lighting could have been t}re root cause of the accident. It is clear ttrat drink was rpt involved in cvery case; buses crashed whose drivers bad not touched a drop.

\Ve mention these matters as examples of the diversity of considerations and the difrculty of coming to conclusions upon which remedies might be based. As an A.A. autbority remarked " we must not panic or jump to false conclusions." Millions of ordinary responsible people should not have to change their ways of living or worry about taking their customary two half pints at middan or in the evening before &iving home, because a fen, others at weekends and holiday times do not know when they have had enough.

If and wheo a reasonable and reliable alcohol detestor is produced, few people would obiect to its us€ at the scene of an accident. An alcohol positive result would thcn be considered very seriously in conjunction with the othcr evideuce, but it should still not automatically condemn one or other or both drivers. Thoee countries which obserrrc autoraatic cmviction of aoy &iver at any time he is found to have had a single drink havc gon€ too far. If a Goverrment can inuoduce total prohibitioo for a nation succrsafully, good luck to it, but sectional prohibition is very unfair.

It is understood that this Christmas more new vehicles and more new drivcrs were on the roads than evcr before. I'he new drivcrs are not iust yroung ones but include many older people who can now afford a car for the fust time. Vho can say whether all drivers are acnrally capable of handling a car safely in modern uaffc? C,enainly tfre driving test does not plove this. There was also more money about to encourage the party opirit in all its forms. This undoubtedly had somc bearing on road and other acci&ntq but too few facts are availablc.

We may surutrarize by sayrng that, while taking all reasonable and proper me{r$Ees to make tbc roads and driving safer, let us not be precipitate. We re1rcat, as well, that until the autborities set out to obtain and analyse the real facts of fatal accidents and to understand accidert causation, terrible slrocks like that of the recent Christmas will continue to occur.


Aquoplonlng 1963-Whot Sort of Yeor ? Grond Prlx Results. Reoders' Ytews on I l00s Rood lest: Bond Equlpe G.T. lliffe Tronspon Edltors Comment . .

Motor Von lest: Estofette.. Were lhose The Doys ? . . New Products Correspondence News ond Ylews Disconnected Jottlngs South Afrlcon Grond Prlx . . The Sport .. Bronds Hotch lg6l Spntng Colendor

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