Sunday, 11 February 2007

Dead Men Don't Wear Belts

Reading p7 of the Sunday Times the story about increasing fines for a variety of traffic/driving infringements, and while I hate the idea of sticking more money in the Government's coffers, I also can't help but agree.

Partially this is down to a quote that a friend often refers to, made by a policeman at the scene of an accident she stopped at. He said:

"I have NEVER unbuckled a dead person from a crash."

Seatbelts save lives, for sure. Airbags, SIPS, aircurtain bags, and all the other spongy bits, they also save lives, but the setabelt prevents you sliding so far forward that the airbag breaks your neck.

Also mentioned are stiffer fines for speeding. This same friend has already said that she is now going to be watching her speed like a hawk because she can't afford a $650 fine. Excessive, yes. But if it stops her and thousands like her who just "push the person in front a little bit" then it will save tens of thousands of incidents causing irritation and driver distraction every year.

As a scooter rider, you know I've seen the attitude of "let's just push and see if the other person gives way" attitude, because on a scooter I'm seen as particularly vulnerable to push-shove tactics. And I've learnt the value of controlling my speed and distance to the vehicle in front, because while VMotos may be way cool and use less fuel, they have quite shit brakes...

So for your own sake, buckle up. Every time. And drive within the stupid limits. They're not so much to slow you down as to make sure we're all going at the same speed.

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