Category Archive: seat belts

Nov
03
2013

Been there. Got the T-shirt.

risktshirt

Yesterday was Risk Day in Birmingham’s Town Hall with numerous events and speakers focused on the theme. My contribution was rewarded with a conference T-shirt.   I suggested that since The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has its headquarters in Birmingham they might like to come over to take part in a discussion …

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Oct
17
2013

Slides from my lecture on the public perception of risk

Powerpoint presentation delivered at Imperial College on October 14th 2013.

Jun
11
2013

Pater knows best?

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Risk compensation – the proposition that a person’s perception of risk influences their risk-taking behaviour – has now become conventional wisdom.  No one now disputes that rock climbers with ropes will attempt manoeuvres that they would not attempt without them, or that trapeze artists will attempt manoeuvres with nets that they would not attempt without. …

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May
09
2013

Change has to take root in people’s minds

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The main headline in today’s Daily Mail reads: £90 fine if you’re texting at the wheel: Minister warns of safety crackdown US experience suggests that the crackdown is unlikely to achieve its desired effect. There the success of attempts to deal with the texting-while-driving problem by means of legislation has been the subject of a …

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Mar
24
2013

The BIGGEST LIE?

seatbelts

Last Thursday (21 March 2013) I attended a conference entitled “Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics? Understanding casualty trends and the causes”. It was sponsored by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS). At the conference PACTS, the Department for Transport, and seven other organizations interested in promoting road safety launched a website called www.roadsafetyobservatory.com. …

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Feb
12
2013

Repeal the Seat Belt Law

Peter Bonisch  has posted a comment on my RoSPA post (11 February) that merits an answer. He asks: “would you advocate now removing the seatbelt requirement?  The world has changed since the law was introduced including having been changed by it.  Would it now be constructive to abolish the law in the knowledge that we …

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Feb
11
2013

Open letter to Tom Mullarkey, CEO of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Dear Tom Following our meeting at a dinner at the RSA over six years ago I sent you an email (22 February 2007).You replied the same day saying “When I have a moment, I would like to look into this in more detail and so I will follow up on the links you have kindly …

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Feb
08
2013

30 years in the jungle with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

TABLE 1

 31 January marked the 30th anniversary of the implementation of Britain’s seat belt law. A television interviewer sent to quiz me about my opposition to the law said I reminded him of Hiroo Onoda, the Japanese soldier who spent 30 years in the jungle, fighting on, unaware that the war had been lost. The interview …

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Jun
27
2011

Road Safety: Myth Perpetuation

On 30 June and 1 July Oxford Brookes University is holding a History of Road Safety Symposium (http://ah.brookes.ac.uk/conference/history_of_road_safety_symposium). History, as they say, is written by the victors. The concluding speaker is Rob Gifford, Executive Director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety. The title of his presentation is “How parliament came to love seat …

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Feb
08
2011

Two methods of transport-safety myth building

1. Simple assertion. An example can be found in the current issue of The Economist by the journal’s Science and Technology correspondent writing under the name of Babbage (http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2011/02/road_safety).  Babbage notes that the US fatality rate has been “inching down over the past half century” and then proceeds to explain why: it is the result …

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