Not much of a headline, huh?
Much more attention-grabbing would be something like Sick Rapes of the Elderly on the Rise or Third Soldier Returns in Body Bag.
Fact is, ten people die in the UK on our roads. Every single day. But since that’s not ‘news,’ we aren’t constantly reminded about this by that ever-so-responsible (or, to put it another way, totally irresponsible) and very small bunch of people who are in charge of our newspapers and television news programmes. (You know the ones I mean: they’re focused on eyeballs, readership and shareholder profits, and only give a minor nod to ethics, human decency and morality when it’s politically wise to do so.)
End result? Since we’re constantly reminded of knifings and ‘how dangerous’ the night-time streets are, we stay in (we fear being stabbed ‘like that chap was last week’); since we’re bombarded with news about how food and fuel prices are rising and ‘a recession is imminent’ we buzz like a roused nest of hornets.
But – largely because it mostly goes unremarked in ‘the media’ – we’re blasé, totally unfussed about the fact that the lives of some three and a half thousand British citizens are smashed into pulp every year. Until it happens to hit someone we know, and then reality seems to subtly shift, as though we’ve stepped through a portal into an alternate dimension.
Just imagine for a moment if the daily news reports were to summarise the day’s road deaths along with the weather report. Maybe then, we might actually be stirred into action.
Some things we can personally aim to do:
- Work closer to home.
- Use public transport, and encourage The Powers That Be to get off their arses and do something about improving it, instead of promising action and providing bugger all (no names).
- Drive slower: save 17% on your fuel costs by driving at 55 instead of 75.
- Lobby the government to prevent car manufacturers from making standard road vehicles that are capable of exceeding the national speed limit (that one’s a no-brainer, to me).