Letters - Letter of the week

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (Letters, 6 December) argues that, as a result of improvements in design, 4x4s "score well against other vehicle types" for safety. But there is evidence that motorists, aware of the higher levels of crash-worthiness, take less care in such "safer" vehicles. Add the greater weight of SUVs (with additional destructive energy unleashed in crashes) and these vehicles become more dangerous for all the rest of us on the roads.

Higher levels of safety can be achieved through a variety of methods. On-board speed governors activated by roadside beacons could automatically control vehicle speed. "Black box" recorders in vehicles, opened with a magistrate's warrant after collisions, can be easily installed. Above all, a cultural change would recognise that real road safety is about controlling the ability of some road users to endanger others, rather than allowing a law of the jungle to operate whereby the most dangerous are encouraged to become even less careful in the name of "safety".

Dr Robert Davis
Principal policy adviser
Road Danger Reduction Forum
London NW10