We've all been shocked (but not everyone has been surprised) by the story of the 2-week old boy killed in his pram by an irresponsible driver who mounted the pavement. But at least it means that there's a slight chance that some people might pay more attention to the deadly consequences of the widespread belief (shared by many who consider themselves utterly respectable and responsible people) that it is OK to break speed limits.
Detective Chief Superintendant Andy Cox is now with Lincolnshire Police, but until last year he was the Met's chief "traffic cop", responsible among other things for finally introducing some real measures to curb dangerous driving along the Great Cambridge Road and for emphasizing the dangers of speeding. His reward (apart from promotion) was to be the subject of nasty comments on social media by drivers telling him that the police should concentrate on "real crime".
However, Andy Cox is clear that dangerous driving is real crime. In this excerpt from Crimewatch Live he points out othat there are more deaths on our roads than the number of victims of murder and terrorism combined - five people a day are killed and 60 are seriously injured, 1800 deaths a year - and that this is mainly the result of criminal driving.
"The culture we have is that it's acceptable, and it really isn't, that it's not preventable - it really is preventable.'
He reserves most of his comments for speeding:
"The most dangerous issue undoubtedly is speeding. We can all play our part by sticking within the speed limit, not going above it, judging friends and family around that as well..."
His main messages?
"1. Don't speed, challenge your friends, your family, your colleagues not to speed, and make it unacceptable, like we do for drink-driving, and rightly so.
"2. Please use dashcam. We can use that against dangerous drivers and you can play your part in terms of reducing road danger as well."