Wasted Lives campaign: Missed opportunity on driver reform

Lancashire Telegraph: DAD: Terry Hannon DAD: Terry Hannon

CAMPAIGNERS accused the Government of ‘missing an opportunity’ over their ‘gutless’ crackdown on young drivers.

The Wasted Lives campaign, which aimed to end the carnage of on the roads, received the support of thousands of people, including the family of Matthew Hannon.

Matthew, 22, died in January 2006 when he crashed his car while racing a friend in Livesey Branch Road, Blackburn.

His parents Terry and Ann have backed our campaign from the outset believing it would help prevent other families experiencing what they did.

Terry Hannon said he was extremely disappointed by the Government’s announcement.

He said: “Bringing in changes to the way young people learn to drive was so important but this feels like a real missed opportunity.

“The biggest problem is that young people can pass their test with no experience and go out and buy a car which is far too powerful for them to handle.

“The number of hours a driver has completed on the road should be set before they are allowed to pass their test to allow them to build up experience.

“Young drivers must be banned from driving powerful cars. Matthew was killed driving a powerful car because he was not experienced enough to handle it.”

Greg Pope, MP for Hyndburn and Haslingden, a supporter of the Telegraph campaign, said the Government had a ‘level of caution’ in the desire to crack down on young drivers.

He said: “To do something about the carnage on our roads requires brave action but I have to say these recommendations are gutless.

“They haven’t listened fully. This is a missed opportunity.

“A lot of people would have preferred more drastic action.

“Other groups of people like the Transport Select Committee made recommendations that were very much in line with it.

“This year there will be grieving parents because more people will be killed on the roads.

“In politics you have to take tough decisions that are right, and it’s very disappointing they have not done this.”

Labour MP Louise Ellman, chairman of the House of Commons Transport Committee, welcomed the report but added “more must be done to reduce the carnage among novice drivers.”

Comments (3)

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10:34am Wed 22 Apr 09

Driver Awareness says...

Until the important and essential matter of driver psychology is addressed - put over in an informative and entertaining way - there will be no real improvement in road safety.

For instance: To say things like "Speed Kills" and "Keep Your Distance" are just empty and meaningless impact statements; nothing else.

It requires thought to make a real difference - asking why? and seeking a proper solution - that is so sadly lacking both at Government and Council level.

It's a great pity that the LET 'Wasted Lives Campaign' seems to be doing nothing other than joining failure - the ordinary.

Read the book, 'Mind How You Go'.
Until the important and essential matter of driver psychology is addressed - put over in an informative and entertaining way - there will be no real improvement in road safety. For instance: To say things like "Speed Kills" and "Keep Your Distance" are just empty and meaningless impact statements; nothing else. It requires thought to make a real difference - asking why? and seeking a proper solution - that is so sadly lacking both at Government and Council level. It's a great pity that the LET 'Wasted Lives Campaign' seems to be doing nothing other than joining failure - the ordinary. Read the book, 'Mind How You Go'. Driver Awareness

11:11am Wed 22 Apr 09

Old Timer says...

There was an upsurge in "boy racers" when many cars became more affordable to buy than motor bikes. Before that most young casualties were injured when riding motor cycles.
It only comes home to anyone who has survived a serious accident following the collision how easy it is to get into difficulties at speed.
A speed regulator to keep the top speed of a vehicle down to a certain limit might be part of a campaign to reduce casualties, but boys will be boys and to solve the situation will take some drastic regulations
generally in the speed of all vehicles.
There was an upsurge in "boy racers" when many cars became more affordable to buy than motor bikes. Before that most young casualties were injured when riding motor cycles. It only comes home to anyone who has survived a serious accident following the collision how easy it is to get into difficulties at speed. A speed regulator to keep the top speed of a vehicle down to a certain limit might be part of a campaign to reduce casualties, but boys will be boys and to solve the situation will take some drastic regulations generally in the speed of all vehicles. Old Timer

1:56pm Wed 22 Apr 09

timeforcommonsense says...

People speed and drive reclessly because there are no deterents. Young people are both arrogant and ignorant and getting caught holds no threat for them. What can you do to someone who, even if you ban them, still get's behind the wheel of a car. Hit them where it hurts, stiffer penalties, higher fines. To me it is stupid that someone who has just passed their test can climb behind the wheel of a sports car, money permiting, and drive cars capable of speeds in excess of 150 mph. No driver with less than five years driving experience should be allowed to drive a vehicle with an engine capacity greater than 1.3 cc and why shouldn't we have a re-test every five years? At least then the general standard of driving would have to remain high. Stupid ineffective measures like lowering speed limits will never ever address this problem it will just mean that people are going that much more over the speed limit. In truth what we really need is more police on the roads. In Canada, the roads are patrolled by provincial police, Canadian mounties and even the military police have duristiction over civilian road users. You will always see police cars on any journey which creates a visual deterent. It's all well and good increasing sentences we need to increase the number of police enforcing the laws of the road too.
People speed and drive reclessly because there are no deterents. Young people are both arrogant and ignorant and getting caught holds no threat for them. What can you do to someone who, even if you ban them, still get's behind the wheel of a car. Hit them where it hurts, stiffer penalties, higher fines. To me it is stupid that someone who has just passed their test can climb behind the wheel of a sports car, money permiting, and drive cars capable of speeds in excess of 150 mph. No driver with less than five years driving experience should be allowed to drive a vehicle with an engine capacity greater than 1.3 cc and why shouldn't we have a re-test every five years? At least then the general standard of driving would have to remain high. Stupid ineffective measures like lowering speed limits will never ever address this problem it will just mean that people are going that much more over the speed limit. In truth what we really need is more police on the roads. In Canada, the roads are patrolled by provincial police, Canadian mounties and even the military police have duristiction over civilian road users. You will always see police cars on any journey which creates a visual deterent. It's all well and good increasing sentences we need to increase the number of police enforcing the laws of the road too. timeforcommonsense

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