Benefits of reducing Road Accidents.     
(Outline)
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Introduction.

Operating Theatre.

Individuals.
Communities.
Society.
Police.
Courts.
Emergency Services.
Hospitals.
Industry.
Governments.
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Introduction.
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This system has the potential to deliver Human: Economic: and Environmental benefits: to the whole of Society... without it costing a fortune.  But, these benefits will not come easy... just getting one law passed can take years... so changing a whole system will take a lot of effort... by a lot of people.  Undoubtedly... there will also be a fair degree of public apathy: political inertia: and [with so many earning a good living from the 'Accident business'] a certain amount of outright opposition.
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This system does represent change and many people simply do not like change... while others may fear it is some kind of a threat to their personal freedom or liberties: [and indeed, if they are individuals that blatantly flout the law on a regular basis and abuse everyone that crosses their path... their fears would be fully justified!]
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We cannot emphasise enough this system is not 'anti' anything... it is not against the Government... it is not against the Police... they both have very important roles to play: [this cannot succeed without them] rather it is 'for' things... it seeks to 'share the burden'... to encourage civic responsibility... and to build working relationships. 
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It is possible for everyone to share in the responsibility of creating a 'Safe, Considerate and Courteous' environment on the roads... 'people may be the major problem... but people also offer the best solution'.
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Individuals. 
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Traffic accidents are one of the main causes of death and injury for young people [especially young men aged 17-21.  Even higher where 16 year olds can legally drive.]  Every serious accident has a major effect on a large number of individuals... not just for those who are killed and injured... but also for a much larger number of family and friends.
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As an 'Individual' there are many potential benefits to this system... 
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* Less chance of being killed or injured. 
* Less chance of ending up in prison. 
* Lower insurance costs. 
* Less frustration. 
* Less traffic hold ups.
* More control.
* More responsibility.
* More opportunity to actively participate in Society... etc. etc.
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Injuries.  
With road accidents there will probably be something like ten times as many people seriously and permanently injured as there are killed.  Young drivers in particular tend to give little thought to the full implications of being involved in a serious road accident... with all the trauma and life changing consequences it can entail.  Something that might have started out as a 'bit of fun'... can end up causing injuries like... burns: facial scars: loss of limbs: paralysis: and brain damage: which may last a lifetime and which no amount of regret... remorse... or wishful thinking... can undo.
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Punishment...
can come in many forms... points on the licence: driving bans: fines: seizure of a vehicle: community orders: probation: or imprisonment.  These things happen to thousands of people each year: [and it can be argued that they deserve it] and can cause major disruption to lives.  The objective is not to be more lenient on serious and persistent law breakers... but to ensure that their punishment will be inevitable... unless they conform to an acceptable standard of behaviour.
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Ultimately... a better standard of driving and a higher rate of compliance to the rules would mean less punishments of every kind.
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Costs. 
The most obvious cost reduction would be in insurance premiums... less accidents means lower costs.  Even if it means an increase for those with poor records... for the majority it would mean a reduction.  Less accidents and a quicker removal from the road of minor accidents and breakdowns means drivers would find themselves sitting in long traffic jams less often... this in turn means less wear and tear on vehicles... and lower fuel costs: [though these may not be that significant for one individual.]
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Attitudes.  
These changes could make a real difference to the everyday experience of being out on the road and the way we think about it.  When you see someone clearly behaving badly: [for instance... illegally using a bus lane] it can be very frustrating to see them actually benefiting from it... the law-abiding sit in the queue... the law-breaker sails straight past.  It does make a difference knowing that these people are not going to get away with it.  Many drivers also get very stressed while driving... some feel quite vulnerable especially if they are being intimidated by the aggressive behaviour of others.  Some people might worry about having an accident... or breaking down... and having to cope on their own... but with Road Supervisors... help should never be that far away.  There are many things which could be done to make driving a much more pleasant experience... and to give people a greater sense of control in their lives.  
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Your Opinion.  We would like to hear your views on this subject... for instance...
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* What are the things that most annoy or anger you out on the roads?
* Would this system help alleviate the problem?
* Would you want to become a Road Supervisor? just click Feedback
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Communities.
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The Road Supervisors' scheme is about giving local people the power to solve their own problems.  No one knows better the problems in an area than the people who actually live there... and those with the authority to solve the problems are usually sitting in some office miles away... completely unaware that the problem even exists.  A call to the local Police may have little success... they are often over stretched and cannot spend their time dealing with local traffic problems.  We fully acknowledge the difficulties that Police forces face and in no way seek to apportion blame... we only say that we should look at the way in which society is 'Policed'... empower local people... make better use of the Police as a resource... and try to build a closer relationship between ordinary people and their local Police force.  
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Working together to solve local problems is one way of doing this... it encourages more people to participate in Society... gives them a greater sense of control over their lives... and builds community spirit.
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Local problems...
can be varied and many... but most could be dealt with under this system.  Some problems might be... speeding drivers through a village: past a school: or down a residential street.  Those making illegal left or right hand turns... so they can use quite residential roads as 'rat runs'... rather than use the main through roads.  Problems associated with... pubs: bars: and clubs: like noise late at night: or problems with cars and motorbikes racing: or 'cruising' [i.e. revving: wheel screeching: skidding: shouting: load music.]  Or maybe it's illegal dumping of rubbish: nuisance parking: etc. etc. etc.  Complaints to the local Authorities by individuals are to easily dismissed... it would be much better if there was a mechanism which made the Authorities more accessible and accountable to the people.
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If the problem was cars speeding past your children's schools... then you would have a definite reason to make contact with other parents or neighbours so as to tackle the problem as a group: [building community links.]  A couple of Road Supervisors [parents] might use a whole three months points in a single morning... all for the same offence... vehicles 'using excessive speed' past a school.  The next morning some different Road Supervisors might be there doing exactly the same thing... and the next morning... and the next morning... until drivers got the message and the situation was brought under control.
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Your Opinion.  We would like to know...
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* What are the problems in your community?
* Would this system help you come together in order to tackle the problem?
* If not, Why? just click Feedback
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Society.
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This looks at those aspects of change which everyone would benefit from whether they were the driver of a vehicle or not.  We nearly all use the roads in some capacity... less hold ups means the average time for journeys would drop... less time on the roads means less pollution and cleaner air... everyone would benefit from that at least!
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Lower Costs.  
Figures are published each year about the financial costs of road accidents to a country's economy.  There are many ways this figure can be calculated: like...  
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  • How much do insurance companies pay out in accident claims: [paid by insurance premiums.]
  • There are direct costs... for those who deal with accidents and their aftermath... Police: Ambulance: Para-medics: Fire: Hospital: Rehabilitation: and Social Services: [paid for by the taxpayer.]
  • There are indirect costs... sometimes after an accident a queue will build up for miles... with thousands of vehicles waiting... every one of them burning additional fuel.
  • Every commercial vehicle running up extra costs: overtime payments: late deliveries: passengers paying for taxis but going nowhere: or taxis empty and earning nothing: the self employed unable to get to jobs: people late for meetings: others missing planes and trains: [all this paid for by individuals or companies.]
  • However it is calculated... in purely Economic terms... Road Accidents are an incredible waste of resources!
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Less Stress.  
Driving is very stressful for a lot of people and for a variety of reasons.  It can be stressful for anyone stuck in long traffic queues... especially when they have deliveries to make... or when they are trying to get to an important meeting: catch a plane: train: etc.  Having to deal with aggressive: abusive: and inconsiderate drivers can also be stressful... this system should alleviate these problems and help produce a more civil Society. 
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Lower Crime Rate.  
Car crime... in all its different forms is paid for by the whole community... both economically and socially.  Less serious accidents should mean less people spending time in prison.  If Road Supervisors enabled the Police to spend less time concentrating on the roads and allowed them to use their resources more effectively... they would have a lot more time to concentrate on other forms of crime.  Everyone would benefit from the overall lower crime rates.
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Better Health Care.  
It is a major trauma losing someone close to you... those affected will usually require some time away from work... possibly on sick leave or compassionate leave.  Some may end up having to give up work permanently in order to become the primary carer of someone who has been seriously or permanently injured.  With road accidents putting such a heavy demand on the Health Care system a significant reduction would mean that valuable resources could be concentrated in other areas.  [Travelling abroad? check out...
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Civic Responsibility.   
This system encourages participation in Society... give people responsibility and more often than not... they will act responsibly.  The more citizens feel they are an active part of a Society [rather than just being controlled by it,] the more likely they are to consider Society as a whole in their actions.  Anti-social behaviour comes in many forms... whether this is playing music at an unreasonable volume... throwing rubbish out of car windows... or not paying taxes.  But... 'Participation encourages Responsibility'... in every aspect of Society!
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Emergencies.  Most countries struggle to cope when suddenly hit by a major catastrophe: [i.e. Earthquakes: Bush Fires: Extreme Weather: wide spread failure of the Electricity System: Terrorist Strikes: etc.]  When Emergency Services are suddenly stretched beyond their limits then ordinary citizens unexpectedly find themselves in the frontline.  If you have this type of mass participation system in place then you can inform people about various National Emergency scenarios: what they should do... to assist the Emergency Services: to maintaining the flow of traffic: to help injured victims: if there is no Public Transport: etc. etc.  In uncertain times every Community needs to develop the ability to respond to a major crisis with the co-ordination of an 'ant colony'... rather than a load of headless chickens!
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Financial Readjustments.  
Road accidents are a multi-billion dollar industry.  Many people have jobs or businesses which rely on accidents and their aftermath... so any sudden changes would mean disruption for some.  While many jobs might be lost there would be some created in other areas... the main beneficiaries being in the I.T. and computer industries.  This system would see literally millions of reports being submitted each year... much of the process could be fairly automated but there would still be a lot of data to be read and dealt with in some way.  It would probably need a central computing office, [which could be sited in a town with high unemployment,] but many of the data processing jobs could be dealt with on-line and could be done by those working from home or living in remote areas.
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A Fair Sentence.  
This is something that needs to be considered before the event.  The Police arrive at the door late one night... someone's child has been killed... someone's child has been charged with 'causing death by dangerous driving'.  Either way... it's the start of a nightmare! 
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Consider this scenario from both perspectives...
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  • First... as a parent whose child has just been killed by another young driver who has recklessly jumped a red light... what sentence do you think should be passed on the guilty offender?
  • Second... as a parent whose child has just been charged with 'causing death by dangerous driving' after jumping a red light... what sentence do you think should be passed on your child?
  • The sentence is 'Fair' only when both answers are the same!
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Police.
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This system might have a bigger impact on the Police than any other group because it directly deals with how a society is Policed... but it is hoped that the changes would be positive ones... building closer ties with local communities... and enabling a more effective use of resources.  With this system Police could concentrate on responding to emergencies and enforcing the law: [when required] rather than sitting on roadsides waiting for someone to drive past and break one of the rules.
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Minor incidents could be dealt with by Road Supervisors... while more serious offences could be reported [in 'Real-Time'] directly to the Police be Senior Road Supervisors.  [None of this would stop the Police doing what they would normally do when they see a traffic offence being committed.]
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Collecting Information.  
Large quantities of 'high-quality' Information could be very beneficial to law enforcement communities.  This could be collected by themselves: Road Supervisors: Cameras: Traffic wardens: witnesses to accidents: etc. and acted on in a variety of different ways.  They could receive 'Real-Time' Information from Senior Road Supervisors about serious offences, in progress... possible drink-drivers: joy riders: reckless driving: which accidents to attend: etc. and respond as their workload allowed. 
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Accidents: Incidents...
and Suspicious vehicles.  Apart from the millions of reports which might be submitted each year about offences committed by individual drivers, there could be other categories where 'Information' was collected, for instance... about anyone acting 'Suspiciously': those secretly offering to sell cheap goods: kerb crawling: soliciting: driving away from a filling station without paying: anyone who appeared to be buying or selling drugs: etc. etc.  About any 'Incidents'... where there was something definite to report... like 'road rage' or deliberate vandalism: or 'Accidents'... where there was damage done to people or property.
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Any Reports of a sexual nature, for instance... indecent exposure: soliciting: could be vindictive... so should probably be treated confidentially. 
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Accessing Information. 
Having gone to the bother of collecting a lot of additional Information it would be important that Police could easily access it.  With 'Real-Time' Information this would be gathered and accessed at the same time... but additional Information could be quickly added.  If a driver was being reported for 'erratic' driving, [possibly drink-driving] by a Senior Road Supervisor who was recommending an 'Interception', the additional Information might be... does this vehicle [or registered owner] have other reports for 'erratic' driving? do they have a high points total? do they have previous convictions for drink-driving?  This additional Information may well be decisive when deciding which vehicles to 'Intercept' as a priority.
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Suspect vehicles could be 'flagged' in some way: [possibly on a priority scale of some kind] so, when a vehicle registration number was punched into the Police computer it could instantly give details, convicted drink-driver: high points total: suspicious activity: possible drug dealer: vehicle not registered at the correct address: outstanding parking tickets: etc. etc. and priority given to 'Intercepting' those vehicles with the highest priority 'rating'.
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Police should be able to make a search and 'retrieve' Information in a variety of ways: [which would depend on the quality of the software.]  For instance, looking for reports about... any dark vehicle? this general area? at about this time? and see what the computer comes up with.  Or, if there was an accident in the morning rush hour on a busy street... have any witnesses filed reports?  Maybe someone comes to a Police station and the side of their car has been damaged... they are not sure where or when it was done.  Punch in the car registration number... and maybe they get lucky... there is a witness report... someone saw another car back into it in a car park two days ago... the offender just drove off.  There are many ways that this type of Information might prove useful when conducting an investigation into a crime. 
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Sometimes with a minor accident... say denting a car in a car park... the person responsible will just drive away and hope that they were not seen.  With more serious accidents there may have been a number of witnesses... but everyone just leaves it to others and no one is left at the scene to make a statement.  With this system it would be easy to log-on... fill out a quick report and leave a contact address... which could be accessed by Police.  Looking for witnesses an hour after an accident happened? many could have already disappeared... unsure if they were needed? late for work? any number of reasons.  Tracking down witnesses after they have left can be very difficult and time consuming... but with some accidents it's possible there would be reports left on the relevant website... for the Police... just a few clicks and they could have their witness.  [Possibly, could have one part of the website for Road Supervisors' reports and another where anyone could file a report as a witness under these categories.]
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Community Relations.  
When the introduction of large numbers of Speed Cameras results in large numbers of fines and driving bans it is likely to prove very bad for Community Relations.  Inevitably, large numbers of otherwise law-abiding citizens will be prosecuted while many of the most serious offenders will slip through the net.  This will cause widespread resentment towards the Police, and this will spill over into every aspect of Policing... it will not be confined to just one policy issue.  This system by contrast, builds a close partnership between the community and local Police... each playing an important role.  
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Those who did collect large numbers of Points [Reports] would have no reason to resent the Police... they would have been judged and found guilty be their fellow road users!
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For those who do like to operate at the very edge of the law and beyond, [drivers banned, but still driving: those who don't register their vehicles at the correct address: drive unroadworthy vehicles: have no insurance: no tax: commit offences like speeding and don't pay the fines: have outstanding parking tickets: damage other vehicles and just drive off: or give a false name and address: etc. etc. etc.] this would all come as very bad news.  Sometimes drivers will do all of the afore mentioned, and finally when the vehicle is of no use they will just dump it in the street, leaving the local authorities to clear up the mess: [i.e. the taxpayer.]
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For all these offences the culprits would know that just one Report... sent to the registered address and returned... 'not known at this address' would mean that their vehicle would be 'flagged'... and much more likely to be 'Intercepted'.  Traffic wardens could call for car clampers and seize the vehicle for a variety of reasons when parked on the public roads.
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'Cloned' Vehicles.
When a vehicle has been stolen it needs a new identity and the simplest method is to use a 'cloned' identity.  Basically, all the criminals do is try to remove the engine and chassis numbers and then find an identical vehicle: [i.e. a car... same year: make: model: colour: etc.] and have a new set of number plates made up.  You now have two cars driving around that are absolutely identical.  If this person is stopped by the Police they will say they have just bought the car... and as no car with their number plate has been reported stolen they can easily remain undetected.  If they get a parking ticket or caught in a speed camera... the ticket is sent to the registered address of the genuine vehicle.  That owner may protest their innocence but it is hard from them to prove that they were not at a particular place when there is a photograph to prove that they were.  
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With this system... these 'cloned' vehicles could be detected much easier.  Just one report and the owner of the vehicle should have the option of saying to the Police, 'definitely not my vehicle, mark it down as a possible clone'.  A driver is unlikely to request this just to avoid one or two reports... especially knowing that they would be much more likely to be stopped.  Police could be informed to keep an eye out for these possibly 'cloned' vehicles especially in the areas they had been reported.  When Police spotted one of these vehicles they would pull it over... make a careful check of the driver's identification and have a look to see if the other numbers of the vehicle had been tampered with... something they would not routinely do.  There are also cameras that recognise car number plates and these could be programmed to sound an alert on any vehicle which might have been cloned.   
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When dealing with these people... the most important thing is they have the perception that 'they are certain to get caught... and that it isn't worth the risk'... and so they do the right thing... however reluctantly... and 'Comply with the Law'... this is the ultimate aim... not more Prosecutions... more Compliance!  A more law-abiding Society!!
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Courts.
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One of the most common offences which Courts have to deal with directly relate to driving or vehicle crime of some sort.  As with other categories... the less time spent on these the more time there is for other things.  Courts could deal with crime and serious individual motoring offences... deciding issues of guilt or innocence and handing out punishments of Fines: Driving bans: and Imprisonment: while Review Panels could deal with those who were persistent offenders and concentrate on turning them into better drivers. 
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When a driver appears in Court... what does the Court know about that person? [unless they have a criminal record, probably very little.]  Having recently killed someone... it can be very difficult to assess whether it was a genuine accident or not... especially when there are no reliable witnesses.  If a driver appeared in Court accused of jumping a red traffic light... and a three year record with over 200 reports on 'File' detailing incidents of reckless driving: speeding: tailgating: aggression: etc. including jumping red lights on numerous occasions... then a Court might draw its own conclusions.
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Definition of an Accident? 
There will always [at least in the foreseeable future] be a certain amount of Accidents... people will always make the odd 'genuine' mistake.  In one sense, [almost] every crash can be described as an 'Accident'... as it was not the intention of the person to deliberately cause it... but...
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When is an Accident not an Accident?
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An Accident should be an unpredictable event... or an unavoidable incident.  If a driver had been reported: [and received a dozen written warnings from the Police] about jumping red traffic lights... saying... 'If you carry on like this you will end up killing someone'... the event has [to some degree] been predicted!  When the prediction comes true... is this still a genuine accident? or is it an inevitable consequence of reckless and irresponsible behaviour... which could easily have been avoided?
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Both Prosecutors and Defenders could ask for a drivers 'Record' to be taken into account.  A driver with a largely unblemished record might be given the benefit of the doubt and treated more leniently.  One with a really bad record could expect to feel the full weight of the Law... either way... the Court system could only benefit from having this extra Information available.
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Emergency Services.
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This can cover... the Police: Fire Service: Ambulance: Para-Medics: Helicopters: [and sometimes a specialist Police Rescue service] all spend a lot of their time and resources dealing with road accidents and their aftermath.  All would benefit from less call outs... making them available for other things.
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Hospitals.
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Dealing with the aftermath of road accidents puts heavy demands on many parts of the Health Service.  Initially... Para-Medics and Ambulances: then Doctors: Nurses: X-ray Departments: Surgeons and the like: for those with serious long term injuries there could be weeks or months of very expensive rehabilitation and there will be some who require a lifetime of care.  These 'Emergencies' are very disruptive to other work in Hospitals as they are totally unpredictable.  A patient could be on the point of going to the Operating Theatre and suddenly have their operation postponed because there is a serious accident victim on route: [they may stay in the Hospital and continue to occupy a bed or be sent home and have to return at a later date... either way, very inconvenient.]  Significantly reduce the accident rate and there would be a lot more time and resources to deal with other things.
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Industry. 
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Time is money!  In the new 'Global Economy', companies are under continuous pressure to lower costs and become more efficient and this is one way 'Industry' could benefit.  Look at any long traffic hold up: [whether it is caused by an accident or a breakdown] there can be thousands of commercial vehicles just sitting there... going nowhere... every one running up costs in one way or another... businessmen stuck in taxis, with the meter ticking over: trucks delayed for hours, burning extra fuel: delivery vehicles late on their rounds: others trying to get to meetings or to catch flights.  Less hold ups can make many aspects of a business more efficient and predictable.
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Direct cost savings.  
Less accidents means lower insurance premiums... and lower repair bills... this may not sound much: [can be for those carrying their own insurance, or with an 'excess'] but all these extra costs come straight out of the profit margin for any business... and for large organisations with hundreds or thousands of vehicles these can be substantial costs.  Less accidents on the roads means less hold ups... which means less time on the road for vehicles: [less wear and tear costs] and the drivers: [less injuries: less stress: less overtime.]
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Drivers. 
Reports about company vehicles would be sent directly to the employer... so they could have quite a lot of Information about what their employees were doing out on the roads.  Any problem driver could be quickly identified and 'dealt' with, in an appropriate way: [could be given a warning: re-training: or persistent offenders discharged.]  Schemes like those in the U.S. where trucks display a sticker 'How's my driving?', any complaints, ring ---this number: have reduced the accident rate of participants by 20% or more.
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But... companies would also have to take a look at themselves... are they putting undue pressure on their drivers to meet unrealistic deadlines?
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Insurance Companies...
would have more Information on which to assess risks... they would not have to rely on demographics so much... they might put an agreed 'loading' on premiums: [based on the number of points a driver had... as well as all the usual factors] or they might refuse cover to some with very bad records.  They could also take a close look at companies... those with a high percentage of drivers with high points could expect higher premiums.  [Safe Driver? check out...
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Vehicle Rental Companies...
might find they could benefit from having access to this type of Information.  When any potential customer handed over their driver's licence the company would be able to log-on to a Website... punch in the licence details... and see how many points the driver had at present... and 'scroll back' to see how many points they had at any time in the past.  Based on this... a company may have a policy about which drivers they were prepared to rent certain vehicles to... and under what conditions and rates.
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Potential employees...
who were going to be employed in some kind of driving capacity could be asked to show their 'File'.  It can be very difficult to pick the right person from a group... on the basis of a single interview... but this extra Information could help an employer make the right choice and avoid problems for the future.
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Governments.
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Any Government would be able to take the credit in many areas for the successful introduction of a system like this, such as... empowering their Electorate: putting more Money in their pockets: [lower insurance premiums] making Industry more competitive: [cheaper goods: more secure jobs:] providing a better Health Service: [less demand] reducing Crime: [more effective use of Police resources] lowering Taxes: improving the Environment: and creating a more civil Society. 
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Of course... we're not claiming that this would be good enough to get anyone re-elected!
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Enforcing the law can be a very contentious issue especially when you are dealing with the 'law-abiding' majority.  When there are no improvements in the numbers killed and injured on the roads a Government might be accused of doing nothing... when they do launch 'Initiatives'... others might accuse them of being heavy handed.  
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A Government might not want to launch such an 'Initiative' as this... fearing they might be accused of 'abdicating their responsibilities'... but if the scheme comes from a grassroots Organisation they could claim... 'they were just responding to public demand'.  Any Government could rightly say... 'We have put in place the mechanism for change... now it is up to individual citizens to play their part'.  
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Subsequently... anyone complaining about 'Road Safety' issues could be told... 'if you don't like it, become a Road Supervisor and do something about it'... if they cannot be bothered to participate then they only have themselves to blame!
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This could also give a Government the opportunity to re-allocate scarce resources, for instance... spending less on road engineering: like speed humps and other 'traffic calming measures'... also review the expenditure on such things as... Emergency Services: Medical Facilities: Law Enforcement: Courts: and the Legal Professions. 
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The Bottom Line is...
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that a significant reduction in the 'Accident Rate' is a possibility... and would bring enormous Human: Social: and Economic benefits... but this will not happen unless the problem is tackled in a 'Radical and Innovative' way.  
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If you only pursue the same policies that have been pursued in the last decade... then the results are a forgone conclusion!
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