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Traffic Safety

2011-02-10 19:58:52.951566+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

I'm reading The Proceedings of the European Conference of Ministers of Transport: Communication in Road Safety, Warsaw, 2-3 October 1997 (pdf). The paradigms listed on page 24 and 25 make for interesting reading on how we view the framework of a substantially similar set of technologies through the lenses of different eras. Safety and traffic management went from viewing control of the vehicle being the problem to control of traffic situations, to management of traffic systems, to management of transport systems and social attitudes being as important as intersection management.

But I was particularly impressed by this quote from page 78:

Thirty years ago a quarter of all drivers killed in road accidents had more than 0.8 grammes/litre of alcohol in their blood. The British Government tackled the problem by introducing a legal drink/drive limit enforced by roadside screening (the ‘breathalyser’) in cases where police had reason to believe that a driver had been drinking. This strategy led to an immediate one third reduction in accidents involving alcohol.

As a result, drivers adopted strategies to avoid the, albeit low, likelihood of being stopped, and over the next ten years the alcohol factor in fatal road accidents rose even higher than the proportion existing before the breath test.

Beware the radio buttons, know that when you mash one down another one will pop up...

[ related topics: Sociology Law ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2011-02-11 22:34:34.702915+00 by: Dan Lyke

Alas, the paper didn't go into strategies, but I did find it interesting that the short-term gain was so quickly compensated for.

#Comment Re: made: 2011-02-11 14:45:47.993925+00 by: petronius

What sort of strategies, Altoid mints or just driving only down dark alleys whilst pie-eyed?