The BBC documentary ‘Licence to Kill’ did an excellent job of reminding people of the tragedy caused by road collisions but offered little in terms of solutions to the problem of high casualty rates caused by young drivers.
Licence to Kill was broadcast on BBC3 yesterday evening (24/4/13). The one-hour documentary was presented by Sophie Morgan who was left a paraplegic after being involved in a road traffic collision when she was aged 18.
The programme makers said it would focus on the reasons for, and consequences of, poor driving among 17 – 24 year olds, and look at possible measures to address the high casualty rate among young drivers including examples of road safety educational provision from across the UK.
Nick Rawlings, editor of Road Safety News, said: "The programme did an excellent job in terms of highlighting the pain and heartbreak suffered by victims of road traffic collisions and their friends and families – but this is something that road safety professionals, charities and other stakeholders have been doing for many, many years.
"However, it did not offer any new thinking about how to address the issue of high casualty rates among young drivers and their passengers – and the dangers that young drivers can pose to other road users.
"The programme did feature Surrey’s ‘Safe Drive Stay Alive’ initiative which has been around since 2005 and has been replicated in part by others.
"Rather than relying on the opinions and conclusions of the presenter, it would have been much more interesting if the programme had included contributions from experts who have studied young drivers in a professional capacity.
"It would have been interesting to hear from the likes of the psychologist Professor Steve Stradling who has spent much of his working life focusing on how young drivers’ minds operate, or Professor Sarah Jones who, after several years of research, has concluded that graduated driver licencing has a part to play in reducing casualties.
"It would also have been interesting if the programme had looked at the potential for ‘black box’ and other technology, or at training interventions such as Durham’s EXCELerate programme.
"We must remember, however, that the programme was for general consumption and not specifically for road safety professionals. On balance, I think Licence to Kill has done more good than harm, but I don’t think the programme will make a lasting or significant contribution to reducing casualties caused by young drivers."