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Road Safety and the Internet: a 21st Century Solution?

Dateline: Guildford, Surrey, UK. XX/XX/XXXX

RoadSupervisors.net has been developing a radical and innovative concept which they claim could significantly reduce the current level of Road Accidents by utilising the power of the Internet. The promotional phase of this concept is now being launched as part of an online, interactive Project, where any interested parties will be able to offer their comments, opinions and ideas.

The basic concept is similar to the various 'How's my driving?' type schemes which have been in operation around the world for some time. Basically: see an offence, take down the details, phone in a report. Some of these schemes have managed to reduce accident rates by 20% or more, despite some very obvious weaknesses in the system: i.e. there is no control over who reports, no consistency to the Information gathered, no central collection point for data and no particular strategies for using the Information.

As this type of system has already proven to be successful, a logical extension of this would be to create a 21st century version using the latest technology. An official scheme that covered everyone. Experienced, pre-registered drivers could fill in detailed reports online. Gather consistent, accurate Information. Collect at a central processing point. Then disseminate that Information in a variety of ways.

The objective would be to raise the overall standard of driving and to target the most serious and persistent offenders. The more a driver was reported, the more the pressure would increase for them to modify their behaviour. RoadSupervisors.net has been developing a whole range of strategies based on, Motivation, Deterrents, Targeted Education, Social Pressure, Enforcement and Punishment.

Motivation: more drivers could be encouraged to improve their driving and maintain a higher standard of behaviour, especially if given a definite reason for doing so, like becoming part of a 'Road Supervisor' type scheme.

Deterrent: others would simply be deterred from the worst excesses of behaviour, knowing that their chances of being reported would be very high with so many Road Supervisors about.

Targeted Education: the best way to improve at any activity is to combine practise with feedback. Practise improves through experience. Feedback fine tunes a person's skills. Reports sent to a driver would let them know exactly what they were doing wrong. Specially printed leaflets, relevant to every offence mentioned, would let them know what they should be doing in the future.

Social Pressure: could be used by making Information readily accessible over the Internet to those who were in 'Positions of Influence'. Simply click on to a website, type in the driver's licence number and see how many times they had been reported and for what. Those drivers who did not voluntarily alter their behaviour might be pressured into making changes by their own Family, their Employer, their Insurance company: etc.

Enforcement: special Review Panels could be set up to deal with those drivers who were clearly unable or unwilling to change through their own efforts. Having the power to assess, re-educate, re-train, monitor, suspend or demote any 'high-risk' drivers as required.

Punishment: must always be an option, especially when dealing with those serious offenders who have caused death or injury because of reckless behaviour. Ideally, various forms of punishment would be the final option, when all else fails, rather than the first and only option.

A spokesman for RoadSupervisors.net said: "the object of this exercise is just to show that new technology can be used to empower road users... rather than simply providing more efficient ways for 'The State' to monitor, control and punish them."

"At present, the biggest single problem is driver behaviour. More than 90% of accidents are due to some kind of driver error. A high proportion of these are the result of a pattern of high-risk behaviour which has been allowed to develop unchecked, over a period of time, rather than a one-off, genuine mistake. While drivers may be the biggest problem, they also need to be an integral part of the solution."

According to RoadSupervisors.net: "Good driving is not simply about the strict observance of every rule. It is the ability to 'Interact' with other road users in a way that is consistently safe, considerate and courteous. Technology cannot make these objective assessments about complex human interaction, but our greatest untapped asset, experienced drivers, can."


The Road Supervisors Network was founded by Andrew Macnamara.
The website gives full details of this Road Safety Concept. Includes numerous articles... covering many different aspects of the driving experience... with the emphasis on using technology as a means of empowering ordinary citizens.

Website: http://www.RoadSupervisors.net
Contact: awmacnamara@aol.co.uk 
Mobile: 07804 352893



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