REV DAVID FAREY: Day to remember those killed on our roads

Another Remembrance day celebrated in November other than that for the casualties of war is to remember the vast numbers that are killed on our roads.

Friday, 11th November 2016, 5:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:49 pm
David Farey SUS-160113-102615001

Some years ago I was one of the first on the scene of an accident where a chap had been knocked off his bike.

He survived but it was the next day that I got in touch with the Institute of Advanced Motorists, the IAM, to begin the process of seeking to improve my driving so that I could do what I could to avoid causing harm to my fellow road users.

It is quite staggering though when you look at the statistics.

Around the world around 4,000 people are killed every day in road accidents.

In the year ending September 2015 there were 1,732 deaths on British roads, and that is an increase of three per cent on the previous year.

The cost of a road death though is so colossally high with all the grief that it entails.

It is why it warrants a day set apart to remember.

This year it is on November 20.

Our roads are awash with cars and there is often talk of total gridlock in our big cities.

Hailsham is bad enough!

But there is no question that our roads are safer than they were.

Sixty years ago when the IAM began in 1956 road deaths were around 5,000 a year, even though there was far less traffic on the roads.

Numbers peaked in 1966 at nearly 8,000 deaths.

So numbers today are a tribute to road and car designers.

Seat belts have made an enormous difference.

Volvo first introduced them and refused to patent them so that they could be widely copied.

But there is no question that the biggest factor, even with all this talk of self-driving cars, is the person in control, the driver.

The cars we drive are so much safer than older models with so many safety gadgets, but it can make us blasé.

When we sit behind the wheel we are in control of a lethal machine and need to remember that.

Only a fool for example would attempt to use their phone while driving.

The potential cost is simply too high and the life God gives each us is too precious to waste in such a casual manner.

People like Jeremy Clarkson love to dis the IAM as being for old fogies.

To see the number of young members quickly dispels that and the president of the IAM is someone who knows about life at the limit, former world motor racing champion Nigel Mansell!

Let’s all do what we can to make our roads a safer place!