Monday, January 29, 2007

Top Gear insult to Crash Victims

Like many people, including road safety charity Break, I was shocked and appalled by the BBC’s airing of comments made by Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson on last night’s (Sunday) episode of Top Gear. Following the clips of Richard Hammond crashing a vehicle at high speed, Clarkson said, ‘speed kills’ pointing to Hammond (who survived the crash).

Clarkson’s comment was not only highly irresponsible but downright offensive to anyone who has been bereaved or injured at the hands of a speeding driver. Exceeding the speed limit or going too fast for the conditions is a well proven contributory factor in almost a third (29%) of fatal crashes in Great Britain (Road Casualties Great Britain, 2005, Contributory Factors to Road).

Richard Hammond’s crash was carried out under test conditions at an airfield. Richard Hammond was driving a purpose-built off-road vehicle with specially-designed safety features and Richard himself was wearing protective clothing and a crash helmet.He was extremely fortunate to have made a full recovery – many people injured in crashes are not so lucky.

I work with many bereaved or injured in crashes and see a shockingly disproportionate number of young male drivers dying on our roads. It is highly irresponsible for the BBC to allow Top Gear, with its target audience of young males, to openly make light the deadly act of speeding.

Brake will be compiling evidence of irresponsible dialogue and footage from Top Gear to present to the newly-formed BBC Trust which represents the interest of the licence fee-paying public. I fully support them in this.


Norfolk Blogger said...

I actually felt the dealt with the whole crash thing very well indeed. I think for Jeremy Clarkson to be anything other himself would have been seen to be false and if I'd had a relative die in a car crash, I wouldn't have been wathcing a well advertised item on a show featuring a high speed car crash.

Tristan said...

Jeremy Clarkson in being offensive shocker.
Coming up later- the Pope is found to be Catholic and reports of ursine defecation in the woods.

I don't see any problem, people are free to make their own decisions. We know speeding is dangerous, people still do it, and will no matter what Clarkson says.
If we start trying to censor Top Gear because Clarkson is a muppet, where do we stop?

Simon Wilson said...

My main problem is not that the item was shown but Jeremy Clarkson's comment cynical "speed kills" comment.
I take your points though as I am uncomfortable about any form of censorship.