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Newspaper Article. AS the death toll of motorist fatalities continues to rise, the recent death of an anonymous teenager in Welwyn has raised concern among the residents of this town

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Introduction

AS the death toll of motorist fatalities continues to rise, the recent death of an anonymous teenager in Welwyn has raised concern among the residents of this town, who now call for a re-evaluation on the safety issues with vehicles, and as to whether the driving tests are far too easy. Owning a car has always been seen as an icon of adulthood, with many teenagers viewing having cars as a symbol of independence. However, this was not always the case. "When we were younger, we were lucky to own a spinning top, let alone a hunk of metal", explains Bob Smith, an 84 year old resident of nearby potters bar. "The extortionate amount of disposable income given to teenagers these days is ridiculous". Of course, the days of skipping ropes and hula-hoops are long gone, and with the poverty rate in this country at an all time low, it is understandable that many of us are able to afford luxuries such as games consoles and televisions. "The world has come a long way since the first world war, and of course, the term luxuries has evolved along with it" says historian Chris Halsey. When talking of luxuries, perhaps top of the list would be a car. ...read more.

Middle

Residents are now calling for stricter laws that will prevent people from driving no matter how little their consumption levels are. Another widespread problem is speeding, with many people simply choosing to ignore the speed limit signs. Drivers are often not permitted to go faster than 30mph in towns, and 40 mph in cities. Unfortunately, these warnings are still not enough to deter others from going over the limit, with the most accidents occurring at 55mph, 10 miles faster almost double the limit for those areas. With so many lies being claimed every day on britain's roads, many people, including the residents of Welwyn are concerned as to where the root of the problem lies. The number of legal drivers is astronomical, with millions taking the exam every year. It is of no surprise that peer pressure and other factors can make the appeal of owning a car incredibly strong. Nonetheless, perhaps this is where the problem lies. With such a high percentage of people passing their tests at such a young age, are the tests too easy? Such questions as to the quality of the tests have been raised not only locally, but nationally too, with the well known car show Top Gear discussing the difficulty of the exam itself. ...read more.

Conclusion

These areas are often seated with children, so the lack of protection there causes many concerns with parent drivers. "As a parent, our number one concern is the safety of our children, and I do not think that the cars of today ensure the well-being of our children" says mother of 2 Claire Broxbourne, 28. So, what solutions are there to these problems? Well, the answer lies in the mechanics of the designs. With seatbelts, a higher resistance is required to allow it to be taught at lower speeds, although in order to do this, designers will have to compromise comfort in the name of safety. More efficient airbags with a more consistent motion sensors will be a great adition to any vehicle's safety features, and the inclusion of airbags behind the front seats will greatly reduce the chance of injury to any children riding at the back However, these changes will only prevent a small number of accidents from being fatal. The greatest flaws in our travel system are the people themselves. With so many disregarding the laws that are in place, it is no wonder that the number of deaths every year is rising. "Until the public realize the severity of their actions, people will continue to drive dangerously and the death toll of those claimed by motorists will continue to rise" comments Sarah Harding. ...read more.

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