London, 20 Sep 2005.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

ABD Predicts Misuse of In Car Black Boxes... TRL Blames Bad Driving for Higher Road Deaths
The DfT announced yesterday that they are considering fitting black boxes in cars to determine the causes of accidents. They are also investigating ways to use these devices to externally control vehicle speeds by physically preventing them breaking speed limits or automatically issuing tickets if they do so.
"This announcement continues their flawed and dangerous "one-size-fits-all" approach to road safety," said the ABD's road safety spokesman Mark McArthur-Christie. "The DfT talk about using black boxes to investigate the causes of accidents, but seem to have decided in advance that crashes can be cured by simply sticking to the speed limit. We are very concerned that the "accident investigation" angle could be a ruse to bring in automated speed controls."
Existing police data, frequently suppressed by the camera partnerships and the DfT, shows that 95% of accidents are unrelated to breaking speed limits, and that the remaining 5% involve extreme behaviour (drunk, drugged or unqualified drivers way in excess of the speed limit) and other vital factors.
"The facts don't support mass, automated enforcement of inappropriate speed limits," continued McArthur-Christie, "But the Government had committed itself to this strategy based on false premises and is ignoring the truth about road safety. External speed control doesn't prevent poor lane discipline, poor observation, driving too close, inattention, tiredness, reckless, poorly judged manoeuvres or excess speed for the conditions. These are the real killers, and the more the Government try to turn us into remote controlled passengers and try to drive our cars for us, the less concentration we will apply to the task of driving and the less opportunity we will have to develop vital safe driving skills."
Recently, the Transport Research Laboratory was tasked to investigate why current speed reduction policies have failed to cut road deaths (TRL643). They blamed falling driving standards.
The ABD was formed by well-qualified and experienced drivers to promote sensible road safety. It believes that external speed control implemented either by threats or black boxes, is responsible for falling driving standards and is therefore what is preventing road deaths from falling.
"A safe driver is one who can use his own judgement to determine what is a safe speed for the conditions," concludes Senior IAM observer and RoSPA-qualified driver and motorcyclist McArthur-Christie. "Government policy is doing nothing but undermine that in any number of ways. We cannot believe they will be foolish and cowardly enough to repeat the same mistakes with black boxes that they have with current camera technology."


Notes for Editors