Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Daddy's Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car

If the derogatory generalisations that were made about young males were made about any other section of society there'd be whinging and crying about discrimination and stigmatisation to beat the band. Yet not only is it perfectly acceptable to lump all young men together and demonise them - especially when it comes to driving - there isn't even a politically correct counter-voice to even attempt to rein the stereotyping in.

Those new Road Safety ads that have been running, 'He Drives, She Dies', are staggering in the way they scapegoat all young men as bad, reckless drivers and allow the rest of the population to absolve themselves of any sin - perfectly adequate drivers that would otherwise potter along the roads in complete safety if they weren't in fear of being the next victim of a 17-24 killing machine.

The way the statistics are abused in that press release is just wrong. Apparently 68% of female passengers killed between 1997 and 2006 were killed in cars driven by men, but surely it's obvious to anyone that if a woman is a passenger in a car the driver is more likely to be a man - a boyfriend or husband or something (easily twice as likely I'd wager, which would entirely explain that 68% figure). I'm only surprised that figure isn't higher, actually, unless there's some massive Thelma and Louise sub-culture in this country I'm unaware of.

"Furthermore, over one-third (81) of these were killed in cars driven by males aged 17-24." So basically 23% of the female passengers killed were in cars driven by young men. Less than one in four. If the figure was weighted according to the percentage of all car drivers who are men aged 17 - 24 it would probably still stand out, but not to the extent this campaign is trying to have us believe.

As for "The research also highlighted that 7 out of 10 female passengers aged between 17 and 24 were killed in cars driven by males aged between 17 and 24." Er, is that somehow different to the 6.8 out of 10 female passengers of all ages who were killed in cars driven by males of all ages?

Don't get me wrong, I despise little knackers bombing around the place in their shite looking chavmobiles, but for every one of those there's a multiple of other blokes just trying to get to work or get home (like anyone else) in a bog standard hatchback, which has probably cost him at least two grand to insure for good measure.

Anyway the ad is out nearly a month, so why mention it now? No reason...
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