Behind the Wheel
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NT INTER time starts on Sunday, and drivers who pilot goods and passenger vehicles up and down our roads will soon be facing the additional hazards of fog, ice and snow. Unfortunately, it is not only inclement weather that is taking such a toll on our roads. Accidents happen because of a number of reasons—some from vehicle design or maintenance, some from road design or maintenance. But most, it would seem, arise because of human behaviour and, as suggested in the two features published this week dealing with road safety, it is the man behind the steering wheel who counts in matters of road safety.
Up to now the Ministry has seized on two of the most glaring aspects of danger—drinking and driving, and poor maintenance. But nothing worthwhile has been done so far to instigate driver training schemes, although it is true to say that the Industrial Training Act will eventually bring this about—but in a way which will hit transport operators hard in the pocket.
hi the two features, schemes operated by several C-licence operators are mentioned, along with graphic examples of how money, in terms of thousands of pounds, can be saved. This applies equally to all types of operator. How much better it is to have a vehicle on the road earning, than in the garage being patched up and repaired. How much better it is to have insurance premiums reduced than raised. How much better it is to enjoy the reputation of employing drivers who are road safety conscious.
The goods industry cries out continually about allegedly poor design and manufacture of vehicles; they spend a lot of time devising the ideal depots and operating systems. Yet there would be no industry at all without the man behind the wheel. Is enough thought given to• him?