UK-Driving-Secrets. Written by a Traffic Policeman with years of on-the-job experience... it gives Legal tips on all aspects of driving... getting stopped... appealing against various tickets... and taking the fight to Court.

Car Accidents... are Drivers the Real Problem?
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The Emergency Services.

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Car Accidents.

The Present System.

The Law of Large Numbers.

New System: New Strategies.

Objections.
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Car Accidents.
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As a Problem... it is generally recognised that 'driver error' is a significant factor in more than 90% of all car accidents... a far more serious problem than such things as road conditions or mechanical failure.  While it is obviously better to have good roads and safe vehicles there is only so far you can go down this road with regard to accident prevention.  It is quite feasible to drive on the worst roads in an old vehicle in a perfectly safe way, or to drive on the best roads with a modern luxury car in a totally reckless manner.  What makes the difference is the attitude and subsequent behaviour of the person sitting behind the steering wheel.  It is the one area of road safety where little progress has been made over the years and that standards may be getting worse rather than better. 
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Other Strategies...  Of course, it is important that improvements are made in all aspect of road safety, but on this website we are mainly concerned with the issue of preventing accidents by changing the attitudes and behaviour of drivers.  There will be no dramatic reductions in road fatalities unless the Authorities get to grips with this problem, [or we reach a point where technology is sophisticated enough to make car accidents a physical impossibility... and that would appear to be a long way off yet.] 
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With the Technology... and resources available to a modern industrialised society, is it possible to tackle this problem in a more effective way?  Are there options available to us now, which we didn't have, even ten years ago?  Is it possible to significantly reduce the number of Car Accidents that happen?  Our conclusion to all these questions is most definitely, Yes! it is possible.  It is our belief that a system could be developed that works significantly better than the present system and by that we mean improvements of 30, 40, 50%, and without spending a fortune. 
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How successful?  Obviously, we cannot say exactly how successful such a programme would be, there are many different aspects to a concept such as this... any one of them could be implemented in a variety of ways... each done very well... or extremely badly.  The present system is in need of a radical overhaul... the Authorities need to start giving serious consideration to all possibilities... they need to start thinking the unthinkable!
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The Present System... and its Limitations. 
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The 'Road Safety Industry'... acknowledge there to be three basic strategies for reducing Fatalities which come under the broad headings of... Engineering: Education: and Enforcement: generally known as the three 'E's.  In this section we are only really concerned with the last two... but, for our own convenience, we have broken them up further under the headings of... Motivation: Deterrents: Targeted Education: Social Pressure: Enforcement: and Punishment.  Problems arise for a number of different reasons associated with such things as... learner drivers: poor driving standards: reckless behaviour: the elderly: drink driving: etc.  Here we look at what affects each category has on influencing or restraining driver behaviour.
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Engineering.
Briefly... this category refers to the physical infrastructure... construction of the roads, vehicles, etc.  There have been great improvements in the safety features of roads and vehicles over the last few decades and these will undoubtedly continue, regardless of what happens with the issue of driver behaviour.  But, there is only so much that can be achieved with these in-built safety features... they have their limitations.
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On vehicles there are 'passive safety' features, such as... seatbelts: airbags: crumple zones: etc. which are just there, in place, until needed in an accident.  They help people survive car accidents... but unfortunately, research shows... the safer a driver feels... the more blasť they become about having an accident.
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Then there are 'active safety' features, such as... modern tyres: abs brakes: etc.  Unfortunately these technical improvements do not translate into equivalent safety improvements... as drivers simply readjust their perceived 'margins of error', [See 'Strategies'.]  These various strategies were summarised in a Table known as 'Haddon's Matrix' for Crash and Injury prevention...
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Car Accidents. People. Vehicles. Environment.
Pre-Crash
[Prevention]
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1. Education,
Enforcement,
Attitudes,
Behaviour.
2. Road Worthy,
Anti-Crash
Systems.
ABS, Tyres, etc.
3. Lights,
Roundabouts,
Barriers, Signs,
Crossings, etc.
Crash
[Injury Prevention]
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4. Training,
Restraints,
Helmets, etc.
5. Seatbelts,
Crumple Zones,
Airbags, etc.
6. Road Surface,
Crash Barriers,
Grass Banks, etc
Post-Crash
[Life Sustaining]
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7. First-aid,
Access to good
Medical Care.
8. Fire Risk,
Chemicals,
Vehicle Access.
9. Rescue,
Communications,
Site Access.
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Some progress can be made in all 9 areas... a Road Supervisor type system could be of some assistance in groups 1, 3, 7, and 9.
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1. Road Supervisors would have most impact in this group, providing Feedback on Reports, [Education] and helping to change Attitudes and Behaviour.  Also assisting the Police on mobile phones if necessary.
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3. By helping to identify 'Reporting Blackspots' which would indicate that there was something about the road environment that was causing a problem.
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7. There would be more people on the roads who had some training in first-aid... and securing the accident site to as to reduce the chances of secondary car accidents.
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9. More people trained to give exact locations when reporting car accidents... who would take the initiative and keep traffic flowing... or move vehicles over to the side so the site could be accessed by the emergency services.
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Motivation.
At present, 'Motivation' is not really used by the Authorities as a means of influencing driver behaviour.  Some people are self-motivated enough to educate themselves... to improve their own driving skills... to attend an advanced drivers course... but unfortunately this is the minority.  Insurance companies may offer a slight reduction in premiums if a course has been completed... but that is about it.
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Generally... when people take up a sport like... tennis: golf: or skiing: they do not expect to become really good by practice alone, they also expect to undertake coaching sessions.  In fact, the best sportsmen in the world all have many hours of coaching and yet for some reason driving seems to have escaped this process... a very high proportion of drivers finish their formal education the day they pass their driving test.  Drivers then reach a level of competence which no amount of practice will improve without some independent feedback.
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Deterrents...  Although some drivers develop bad habits that they are completely unaware of... even the worst have some level of awareness and are able to alter their style of driving the moment they set eyes on a Police car.  Under the present system... 'speed cameras' and the odd Police car is about all drivers have to worry about.
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Motivation and Deterrent... are like opposite sides of the same coin.  Both, just look at the situation... and alter their behaviour for the better without any outside intervention.  Those who are 'Motivated' usually have a good standard of behaviour... and try to improve themselves yet further, particularly if there is a goal: [i.e. the carrot.]  Those who are 'Deterred' usually have a poor standard of behaviour... but will refrain from their worst excesses because they fear the consequences: [i.e. the stick.]
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Education.
Mainly consists of training in the period before a driver passes their test.  There have been some successes with graduated licence schemes but there is a limit to what can be achieved in this period alone.  Research has shown that a much more comprehensive period of training reduces accident rates for 6-12 months... but becoming an experienced driver takes a lot of practice... and the influences of Peers and the general Road Culture will come to dominate before the first year is out.  There is a learning process that all drivers need to go through... regardless of whether they start that process when they are 16, 17, 18... and if those influences are negative then all the good work done initially will be undone as bad habits set in.   
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Beyond this period... mass 'Education' from the Authorities comes mainly via the television... but any media campaign tends to have a very limited impact, especially when it attempts to bombard every driver with the same simplistic messages, regardless of their level of experience.
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Social Pressure. 
There may be a certain amount of financial pressure exerted by Insurance companies which tend to raise premiums when someone has been responsible for causing a car accident.  But at present, there is very little direct pressure from other people in Society to drive in a particular way.  For the most part drivers are fairly anonymous when they are out on the roads with millions of other vehicles.  If they do break the rules of the general 'Road Culture' they may find themselves coming into conflict with other drivers and involved in angry exchanges, verbal abuse, obscene hand gestures and the like... but these exchanges are invariably with strangers and can be quickly shrugged off.  
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Enforcement. 
Under the present system some drivers may be asked to attend a 'course' of some kind, when they have been found guilty of an offence or been responsible for causing a car accident.  This is the only serious attempt at reducing the 'high risk' activity of an individual driver... but even this has some obvious deficiencies...
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  • As an Instructor looks at his new intake for an 'anti-speeding' class what does he really know about them? virtually nothing!
  • Authorities don't really know what the driver was like before the course. 
  • They don't know if the course is appropriate for their needs. 
  • And as they have no way of monitoring any changes, they don't know what they are like after the course either.
  • In many cases the driver will simply go through the motions... finish the course... then get in their car and drive exactly as they did before.  
  • Course completed... but nothing achieved!
With 'Enforcement'... it is recognised that the chances of getting caught are much more important than the severity of the sentence.  Police are relatively few in number and they have, what is known as a 'halo' affect around them... drivers are on their best behaviour as soon as they set eyes on their vehicle.  Cameras of various kinds are springing up everywhere... but these cannot possibly make objective assessments about bad driving... and have already proved to be very unpopular in a number of countries. 
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Tickets... whenever Police or a camera issues a ticket it is an attempt to deal with the driver behaviour problem... to reduce what it sees as 'high-risk' [or illegal] activity... but it does this in an extremely haphazard way.  Very often, drivers feel that getting a ticket was just down to bad luck, rather than bad driving, [and when Police set up speed cameras where they know they can book long lines of vehicles for exceeding a speed limit... they may very well have a point,] in which case they are very unlikely to change their future behaviour.  [Visit this website - UK Driving Secrets - for all the low-down on what to do if you do get a Ticket.]
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Punishment.
Various forms of 'Punishment' is the 'driving force' behind the present system.  For minor infringements... there are fines.  If it's a bit more serious... deduct a few points as well.  If it persists... ban them from the road.  And in the worst case scenarios... send them to prison.  The basic concept is... that if you punish people for bad behaviour they won't do it in future... and at the same time it sends out a warning to others. 
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If this was done well and efficiently, it would deter the worst kind of behaviour... but that is about all.  If you want to systematically raise standards right across the board then you need to develop a system that has a whole range of different strategies.  In some circumstances 'Punishment' is the only appropriate response... but it definitely should not be the first and only response!
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Under the present system...
there is little Motivation... ineffective Deterrents... a fair amount of General Education, but very little 'Targeted' Education... no Feedback... minimal Social Pressure... haphazard Enforcement... and an unhealthy reliance on various forms of Punishment.  None of these are very effective as a means of improving driving standards.  
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The Law of Large Numbers. 
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Take a look at the 'Pyramid' of Statistics below: (Figure 1,) a central Government just tends to focus on the Statistics... the 'Big Picture'.  The Emergency Services react to serious accidents involving... Deaths: Injuries: and perhaps minor Injuries... but following the accident, it's really just down to apportioning blame and handing out some form of 'Punishment'.  The Authorities do not attend the scene of many minor car accidents involving Damage Only.  That is the sole concern of the unfortunate participants... and their Insurance companies.  'Near misses' tend to go completely unpunished: [unless they happen right under the nose of a Police vehicle.]
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Meanwhile... local Authorities might show some interest concerning any structural deficiencies with the road... or social problems in your street.  But, as private individuals, we have been cut out of the loop... we may act as witnesses to a car accident but beyond that... we have no power... no influence... no responsibilities apart from own behaviour.  We are little more than passive bystanders.  Experienced drivers are our most valuable asset and yet, they have no role to play.  That needs to change!
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This is the crux of the problem... although every car accident is unique, they are also very similar to countless other accidents that have happened before.  As individuals we may learn from our own mistakes, but we rarely learn from the experience of others... and as a Society, we just keep making the same old mistakes over and over again.  Of course, you have to try and learn from mistakes... the problem is trying to pass on what the Authorities have learned to the general public so that these mistakes are not continually repeated.
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Car Accidents: Figure 1...
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Deaths:  5,000
Serious injury:   50,000
Slight injury:   500,000
Damage only:  5,000,000
Near misses:  50,000,000
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Needless to say... these are not the exact figures for any particular country, [statistics never work out quite as neatly as this,] they're just a rough example, and every category is open to some interpretation.  [Example: U.K. 2003... deaths 3,508: Serious Injuries 33,707: Slight Injuries 253,392.]
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The point is... there is a Mathematical ratio that links all these things together.  Look at any modern, industrialised country and the figures will all pretty much conform to the same equation.  Give a Mathematician/Statistician just one of these figures for any country and they would be able to work out quite accurately what all the other figures in this equation would be.  Every industrialised country conforms to the similar ratios, [although not the same level of car accidents.]
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As we have said... 'Deaths: Injuries: or Damage Only', may result in a Court appearance... some form of 'Punishment', [plus a financial penalty from the Insurance company] in the hope that the guilty party will not repeat their behaviour... and to act as a warning to others: [unfortunately, this is a bit late for the victims.]  While the Police, and such things as speed cameras, issue Fines and Points in an effort to eradicate 'high-risk' practices before they lead to anything more serious.  Whether they are dealing with the upper parts of the pyramid... or the base... the strategy is the same... some form of 'Punishment'.  
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Over the Decades... these ratios will have changed due to a number of factors, such things as... improved vehicles safety standards: means a lower percentage of people are killed and injured in car accidents.  Our emphasise here is on reducing the level of car accidents... rather than just increasing peoples' chances of survival when they happen.
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What are the Limitations of the present System?  With the present system, the only restraining factors which have an influence on a driver's behaviour are the Police and a variety of cameras.  If they are not around... then a driver can enjoy their anonymity and pretty much do as they like.  If they want to use the road like a private race track who is going to stop them?  A driver may behave in an extremely dangerous way... they might intimidate you... be aggressive towards you... even put you life at risk... but, until they actually hit you, there's not a lot you can do about it. 
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How can we reduce the number of 'near misses'?  Many people drive with a good 'margin of error' so that having a 'near miss', [i.e. slamming on the brakes: swerving to avoid something: etc.] is a rare occurrence.  While for others, 'near misses' are a daily hazard.  The more someone indulges in 'high-risk' behaviour, [i.e. speeding: aggressive tailgating: dangerous overtaking: weaving through heavy traffic: etc. etc. etc.] the more 'near misses' they will have.  Anyone who drivers will be familiar with these types of drivers... they are not very difficult to spot.  So, once they have been identified and you have a good idea about what they're doing... can you change their behaviour?  If you can, then the 'near miss' total could be reduced... and with it, every other figure in the equation.
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Take a look at the figures... for a country like the U.S.A. for the last decade.  Millions of drivers... travelling billions of miles... often interacting at high speeds.  Every day is a unique series of complex interactions... each car accident a one-off, never to be repeated event.  And yet, despite these huge numbers, the final outcome is entirely predictable... you don't need a crystal ball... you don't need to be an expert... we can confidently predict the outcome to within very small margins... just how many deaths: injuries: accidents: and near misses: there will be... they are all inextricably linked. 
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Actually, it is the very fact that these figures are so large that makes them so predictable.  Have a look at Figure 2 below, for the U.S.A. and Delaware 1995-1999: [we have taken the highest and lowest totals.]  The bigger the numbers the smaller the variation as a percentage.  The only way these National figures will be reduced is if something drastically changes.
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Car Accidents: Figure 2.

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U.S.A. Delaware
Low. 1998 41,471 Low. 1999 100
High. 1997 41,967 High. 1997 143
Difference. 496 Difference. 43
Variation as a % 1.2% Variation as a % 43%
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When drafting policies it may be beneficial to look at the Statistics... the 'Big Picture'... but you cannot just have policies that deal with statistics and trends... you need a whole range of effective policies which deals with the needs of individual drivers.
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Car Accidents... are by nature, sudden and unpredictable events, so you can never actually stop a particular accident from happening.  But, when dealing with these huge numbers, it is certainly possible to reduce the statistical chances of Accidents from happening... it is possible to create a safer environment... and this can be done by concentrating on reducing the foundation that so many of these car accidents are built on... 'high-risk' behaviour.  
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Car Accidents: Figure 3...
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Deaths:  5,000
Serious injury:   50,000
Slight injury:   500,000
Damage only:  5,000,000
Near misses:  50,000,000
'High-Risk' Behaviour. ??????????????
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The Statistical Pyramid... this is the uncountable statistical category which forms the very foundation that all other statistics are built upon... which we could describe as genuine mistakes and 'high-risk' behaviour.  It may not be possible to eliminate genuine mistakes but it is certainly possible to reduce all those innumerable instances of 'high-risk' behaviour.  It is an inescapable fact... the more instances of 'high-risk' behaviour you tolerate... the more instances of 'near misses' you will have... the more 'near misses' you have... the more car accidents... the more accidents... the more injuries and deaths.
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Undermining the Pyramid. 
The reason... points are deducted... fines handed out... and driving bans imposed... by The Authorities [and from various cameras,] is an effort to deal with this problem.  But, again they rely too heavily on various forms of 'Punishment' to bring about the desired outcome.  They are chipping away at the foundation that supports the Pyramid... but while they use a 'heavy-hand' they never seem to make much progress!  
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The Police... are relatively few in number... which means finding an alternative.  Significant progress can only be made if it is tackled from the 'grassroots' level... and that means empowering large numbers of ordinary people.  Cut the 'high-risk' behaviour by 20% and you'll reduce the 'near misses' by 20%... and every other number in the equation will also be reduced by 20%.  Reduce it by 50%... and every number will be reduced by 50%.
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New System... New Strategies.  
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If driver behaviour is a major problem... what are the options for changing that behaviour and reducing the number of car accidents?  There has been quite a lot of research in this area so we already have a good idea what works and what doesn't.  Either we rely on the Police and cameras or we find an alternative... that would, logically, mean using the people who use the system.
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This new system... takes a radically different approach, it is all about devolving power down to... Individuals: Policemen on patrol: and local Communities.  Giving them the power to influence the behaviour of drivers in their own streets and neighbourhoods... the ability to solve their own problems.  This means approaching the problem from a totally different perspective... rather than just assessing good driving as being... strict obedience to every rule, it should be viewed as an exercise in 'Social Interaction'.  Whatever your problems... some Politician sitting in an office in the Capital is not going to pass a law that will make them go away... in most cases, they don't even know you and your problems exist. 
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[Read... Village vigilantes go for their speed guns.  About a scheme that allows villagers to catch speeding motorists which is spreading rapidly across the U.K.]
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What would be required from you as an individual to make such a system work?  Only that you know what 'bad' driving is when you see it... and that you are capable of filling out a form.  Are we capable of making objective assessments about someone's driving?  If driving is viewed as a process of 'Social Interaction', rather than just strict adherence to rules, then you only have to identify those you don't like sharing the roads with... for whatever reason.  Are we capable of filling out a complex form?  The Tax Department obviously thinks we are!
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Responsibility at present... as a citizen you could be asked to give testimony at someone's trial or sit on a jury.  In some cases the evidence of one person can be the deciding factor in sending someone to prison for a very long time.  There would be no such burden in becoming a Road Supervisor... the odd reporting mistake would not make much difference... it would take the testimony of many people about an individual driver before it had any affect.
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Motivation. 
Could drivers be motivated to become Road Supervisors?  Some drivers are already self-motivated but, many more could be encouraged to improve themselves if there was a definite target for them to aim for.  This is something that has an everyday effect on the lives of millions of people... dealing with aggressive: rude: selfish drivers.  Or, being caught out... by speed cameras: being fined: losing points: banned from driving: maybe costing them their livelihoods: sometimes this can have a devastating effect on a person's life.  No doubt there will be a certain proportion that says, 'I'm to busy, can't be bothered, not my job' and similar, but on the other hand surely there are enough people who are sufficiently motivated that they would be happy to accept a bit more responsibility for something that has such an effect on their everyday lives?  
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Deterrents...  With a Road Supervisors Network... not only would their presence act as a deterrent to others but they would be conscious of having to maintain their own standard of behaviour as an example to others.  Police want to eradicate this 'high-risk' behaviour, but it is an establish fact that, the fear of being caught is a much more effective deterrent than harsh penalties.  Increasing the 'deterrent factor' can only be achieved by raising the profile of patrol cars... or by using an alternative.  For details [See Road Supervisors.] 
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Education. 
In every country... there are two basic kinds of individuals... those that are willing to change... able to learn and modify their behaviour... ready to accept and internalise the rules of community living.  And those that resist change... that need external control from society... and punishment in case they break the rules... as a condition for adapting to change.
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Both types can benefit from educational campaigns, since the former receive and accept proposals positively and the latter have at least been made aware that rules exist... and that they will have to pay the consequences when they break them.  But, there is a limit to what can be achieved with this 'general' education... you also need to develop a system to deliver very specific information which is relevant to the recipient.  
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As an example... some drivers are oblivious to the particular problems that face other road users... like motorbike riders... or large trucks trying to negotiate narrow city streets.  So, if a driver comes into conflict with a large truck: [has a 'near miss'] and believes that it was the fault of the truck driver... they are not going to change anything that they do in the future.  The truck driver was an idiot... end of story!
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However, if the driver received a 'Report' through the post, detailing the incident, explained what they did wrong: ['Feedback' from an experienced driver] plus a detailed 'Insert' ['Instruction' from the experts:] which explained the problems associated with trucks in the city and ways to assist them... this driver might change, if only for reasons of self-preservation.  But Education needs to be of relevance to the recipient... bombarding every driver with the same simplistic messages will achieve very little. 
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Training...  You cannot adequately complete a person's training before they even start driving... drivers need practice and feedback.  Doing advanced driving and on-going refresher courses needs to be encouraged.  Improving your driving skills should be considered a life long endeavour which could be influenced by... Feedback: Education: Social Pressure: and Enforcement Strategies... for details [See Files: Reports.]
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Social Pressure.
A present... if you have a problem with an employee or one of your kids out on the roads driving in a dangerous and aggressive manner, there's a good chance you won't know a thing about it.  If you don't know about it, how can you ever hope to change it?  There are many, many ways that driver behaviour could be influenced by Society... for details [See 'Social Pressure'.]
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There are schemes... in a number of countries where companies put a phone number of the back of a vehicle which says, something like... 'How's my driving?... if you have any comments phone,-----'. Reports show that companies running such schemes have achieved a reduction in their accident rates of 20% or more... so it is reasonable to assume that similar figures could be achieved with an official scheme.  Generally, it would be a lot fairer if everyone was put under the same spotlight rather than just a few professional drivers.
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Enforcement.
Here we mean any process that uses enforced measures to try and change a driver's behaviour.  When it comes to Law Enforcement, trying to solve a complex problem by passing a few laws and maintaining control within a centralised Government is only ever going to have limited success.  Every system has its limitations and the present system is very close to reaching its maximum level of efficiency... this model is by nature, inefficient... unresponsive... and out of touch.  To move beyond the present system a completely different approach is required. 
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When drivers are sent on Courses they really need to be appropriate for the particular problems of the individual.  That means you first have to gather a fair bit of information about the driver... send them on the right course... make sure the instructor knows exactly what they are dealing with... and monitor their behaviour after the course has been completed.  Only then do you know if you have effectively dealt with the problem.  For details [See 'Review Panels'.]
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Would having a serious 'Talk' with someone work?  Evidence from New Zealand would suggest it does.  In one area they have run a trial programme whereby anyone could go along to the local Police station and file a report about bad driving.  If the local Police received three reports about someone's driving within a year they would go around to their home and have a talk to them.  There were very few occasions that the Police had to go and see someone for a second time.
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Punishment. 
The biggest concern is actually getting caught... if drivers don't think they are going to get caught... they won't even consider the severity of the sentence.  After all, behaving in a reckless manner can already carry a death sentence!  Punishment should be viewed as the final strategy... imposed when other efforts have failed... not the one and only strategy... and definitely not seen as a form of Tax collection.  
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Under this New System.
All the following strategies could be tailored to address a whole range of behavioural problems associated with different types of drivers.  There would be a greater emphasis on raising standards through self-improvement and personal responsibility.  Involving...
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  • Motivation... to become Road Supervisors.
  • Effective Deterrent because of the presence of Road Supervisors.
  • A vast increase in Feedback through Reports.
  • A lower level of General Education... but more Targeted Education through Inserts.
  • A huge variety of points where Social Pressure could be exerted.
  • A whole range of Enforcement Strategies and Courses organised through Review Panels: 
  • A more reliable system of Punishment.  
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Figure 4...
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Factors Influencing Behaviour. Present Proposed

 System.

 System.

Self-Motivation. ** ***
Motivation. [Becoming a R.S.]

*

***

Deterrent. [Presence of R.S.] ** ****
Possible 'Interceptions'. * ****
Feedback. [Reports.] * ****
Learning Process.  [Licences.] ** ***
'P' Plates. [Compulsory?] * ***
Probationary Licences. ----- ****
On-going Training. * ***
General Education.     [Media.] ** **
Targeted Education.   [Inserts.] * ****
Written Warnings. ----- ***
Social Pressures. * *****
Financial Pressures.   [Insurance.] ** ***
Courses. ** ****
Enforcement. ** ****
Review Panels. ----- ****
Monitoring. * ***
Punishment.  ** ****
Information. * *****
Our Rating--- 29/100 72/100

[Note... This is a personal opinion... not a scientific assessment.]
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Objections. 
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If a system like this would reduce car accidents then why shouldn't it be implemented?  We expect to hear objections for all sorts of reasons, but the question remains... 'could this system be made to work'?  The fact that something has been run one way for a hundred years doesn't mean it always has to be done that way.  If there is a Practical problem then let's find a solution... if it is a Legal problem then change the Law... if it's a Philosophical problem, well... for the moment... let's just agree to disagree!  
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Practical. 
You could end up with thousands of cameras... dishing out millions of fines.  Or millions of drivers... dishing out hundreds of millions of reports... and very few fines.  Drivers need to accept more responsibility for road safety... or technology will do it for them.
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Drivers are too apathetic...  As far as shear practicality is concerned, the biggest question is... would people be willing to become involved.  This is a concern... these days many people expect every problem to be solved by a Government Department... "it's not their job" to watch other drivers!  Maybe you could never recruit the numbers required?  Who knows!  If this proved to be the case it would be a very sad indictment of modern society.
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To ambitious! What?  We have already heard people say that such a thing would never get past their Politicians.  Not because it couldn't be made to work... just that it's to radical... might be unpopular with their voters... and besides, they don't like giving up power to ordinary people.  We acknowledge that Political inertia is a problem... but that doesn't make it impossible.  As for being to ambitious... is that really possible?
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People don't know what 'bad' driving is...  If drivers can't tell the difference between good driving and bad driving how could they ever become good drivers themselves?  There may be the odd instance where a driver prevented a car accident with a piece of very good driving which was somehow misinterpreted by someone... and they were subsequently reported for bad driving.  But, it certainly wouldn't happen to the same driver... 50: 60: 70 times.  
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Drivers will take their eyes off the road... and the accident rate will go up.  It is quite possible that a few drivers would make this very basic error of judgement.  Drivers do allow themselves to become distracted by... their music: food: drink: conversations with passengers: children: mobile phones: etc. etc.  But on balance, it is something that would solve a lot more problems than it would create.  Sometimes, a person is worse off because they had a seatbelt on... or were run over because they happened to be walking on the footpath... but on balance, it is still better to carry on doing these things.
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If a Government believed... that distracting drivers would be a problem then surely they would have to close down any of these 'How's my driving?' type schemes... because they basically require the same procedure... identifying bad driving... taking down some details... and filling out a Report.
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Legal.
One of the biggest obstacles will surely be Political inertia... it often takes years to get one simple law passed even when the benefits seem obvious.  This is not about changing the odd law... it is a totally different approach... and a totally different philosophy.  Politicians often like to take a 'safe' approach... do something that looks good even if it doesn't achieve very much.
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Offences should be dealt with in a Court!  At present, many offences are dealt with in 'Local' courts.  The offender explains their case, and nearly always they get the same fines... bans, etc.  They might as well have just pleaded guilty.  There is no serious attempt at changing the person's behaviour... just a punishment and the threat of even worse punishment if it happens again.  The magistrates who sit in judgement don't have any particular expertise... take little time in coming to decisions... and don't have much room to use their discretion.  
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Objections... There is a good chance those in the Law professions would be against such a system... anything that goes into their territory they are likely to resent... they appear to think the Law is there for their own benefit: [to a large extent it is, they have a licence to print money!]  But, these Laws are not God's Laws... they are not even Nature's Laws... they're man made, and if changing them benefited Society... there is absolutely no reason why they shouldn't be changed.
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Laws... are supposed to be for the protection of people and property... but very often the only factor considered is the fact that a Law was broken, not the effect that it had on other people.  Whether it endangered them... made them fearful... inconvenienced them... or damaged their property.  When it comes to breaking traffic rules these questions are barely even taken into consideration.  In Britain, there are innumerable examples of people given big fines and driving bans for exceeding speed limits on the motorways even though they might have been driving perfectly safely... while at the other extreme, persistent offenders [with... no licence: no insurance: unroadworthy vehicle:] cause death while speeding in a dangerous way and escape with a pathetically low fine.  In many cases the Justice system in Britain appears like a sick joke! 
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Philosophical.  
We have already heard a few objections along the lines of... *this is just a busy body's charter... *it's an invasion of privacy... *it would be an intolerable pressure with people watching all the time... or... *this is just like The Gestapo.  To these comments we would say...  
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  • Busy bodies stick their noses into things which do not concern them.  If someone is driving in close proximity to you... endangering your life... your family...your property... then it definitely is your legitimate concern!
  • What you do on a public highway could never be classified as 'private' in any way.  'Private' is what happens behind closed doors when your behaviour doesn't have any adverse effects on innocent third parties.
  • People are already watching... everyone can already see what you do on a public highway.  The only difference is... that if you behave badly the fact might be permanently recorded.
  • And finally... 'The Gestapo'!?!  This is something more akin to 'Neighbourhood Watch' than The Gestapo!  Getting a letter through the post telling you to stop jumping red traffic lights... and getting carted off to a Concentration Camp... not the same thing!!!
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Inevitably, there are those that say... 'this is the Big Brother scenario gone mad'.  A term often bandied around, but in fact it is the absolute opposite.  In the book, '1984', by George Orwell, he foresaw a future where all power was concentrated into the hands of the all powerful State... ordinary people had every single aspect of their lives rigidly controlled by a system of cameras and spies.  This is the direction that we are moving at the moment... this system would reverse the trend and devolve power and responsibility back into the hands of ordinary people.    
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'Freedom' is an elusive thing... it means taking responsibility for your own actions... and paying the price of your own mistakes.  Being able to go out on a public road and do whatever the hell you like... regardless of the consequences has little to do with personal freedom... this is the road to Anarchy!  And there is no freedom for anyone when Anarchy Rules!!
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The Bottom Line.  
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For many... [despite the logic of any argument,] the main problem may be, simply, that we have never done things in this way before.  It represents change and people just don't like change.  But, on the other hand, the very success of modern Society has been built on our ability to do just that... to embrace change... to be more efficient... innovative... to solve problems in new ways.  The fact that something has been done a certain way for a century is no reason why we have to continue doing it in that way. 
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So, the Bottom Line is... either we adapt and change... accept more responsibility as individuals... or sit back and wait for Technology to take over our lives.
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