I can't imagine I'm alone in thinking that the standard of driving on UK roads and especially in my own area is so bad as to becoming intolerable.
Whilst reading the Bucks Free Press last week, I was astounded at the amount of crash related stories there were, but however it does seem to be any, everyday occurrence.
The M40 from Denham to Stockenchurch seems particularly bad but even High Wycombe town seems littered with crashes. I never use the term 'accident' as I believe at least 99.9% of crashes are caused by driver error and there is a seldom good reason as to why a driver should be involved in a collision. All drivers should be capable of manoeuvring their vehicle without making contact with another or anything else.
The basic skills for doing this are sadly lacking in a great deal of drivers, speed limits are not adhered to, indicators are seldom used, awareness of conditions are never considered and distracted driving; in particular hand held phone use is rife, at most times I will witness a driver using a mobile phone within a few hundred metres of leaving home.
I'm pleased to see that the penalty for so doing is set to rise and will see the offenders getting six points on their licence and an increased fine too, should this be a driver within their first two years behind the wheel then six points will mean an instant driving ban.
Sadly the vast majority of drivers have only ever passed the ‘standard’ driving test which allows them to drive on the highway for the rest of their lives. This ‘standard’ test is exactly that, it proves only that the driver is now allowed by law to drive on the highway unaccompanied, but the fine art of driving properly requires further tuition but far too many never bother to have it.
I believe if any government is serious about cutting road deaths and injuries and thereby cutting the vast cost that comes with it then they must introduce additional tests at various intervals throughout each drivers life, this should also include ones physical capabilities too.
I wonder how many drivers keep up to date with the Highway Code? we do have new rules, new road signs etc to keep abreast of. I would bet on that number being very small.
These are surely the reasons why the casualty rate is increasing and the collisions are so numerous. I can guarantee that tomorrows traffic reports on TV and radio will be full of them.
Roy Craig, High Wycombe Group of Advanced Motorists
This blog was prepared or accomplished by Roy Craig in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own.