RAC Report on Motoring 2012
Foreword by Eddie Irvine
As a former Formula 1 racing driver, I understand better than most the power of a motor car and more importantly its fragility. Driven badly they put both the driver and others on the road around them in danger, and I am constantly alarmed by the speed and carelessness of some drivers today.
The roads we drive on today bear no resemblance to the ones of ten years ago, with ever increasing numbers of cars and more frenetic driving mirroring our busier lives. Somewhere along the way respect for motoring and other motorists has got lost. We need to address this through a fresh approach to driver education and training. Drivers, both old and new, need to be taught not just to drive the car but also about greater awareness of the road around them and the courtesy that should be extended to other road users. Despite the technological advances, cars are still fallible and the lesson that speeding can kill needs to be reinforced, especially to young learners and those newly qualified. This is one of the reasons why I am in support of charities such as Brake, promoting road safety.
The other key area of concern I have is the social impact of the seemingly endless rise in the price of fuel. Families, older people and those living in rural areas, who are highly dependent on their vehicles, are the forgotten victims. It is they who have seen the cost of filling up their car increase almost daily, but who often quite simply do not have a public transport alternative. I fully agree with the findings of this year’s Report on Motoring. As motorists are being squeezed from all angles, Government needs to recognise the financial and social impact that higher fuel prices are having. We must see action from Government to mitigate against this impact, especially for the hardest hit in our society. It also needs to look at how and what we teach our children about motoring so we can bring some respect back onto the roads.