Being a keen vintage sports-tar enthusiast, I am greatly alarmed, and dismayed, at the unqualified remarks made by numerous members of the Press during the past few months. Their theme seems to be that, if all old cars were banned from the roads, the rate of road accidents would decrease.
It is also rumoured that insurance companies are considering a rule to refuse insuring any vehicle of a greater age than 10 years. How true this may be, I have no means of knowing.
In my profession as a police officer, I am brought in contact, onemight almost say daily, with this problem of road accidents, -and 1 have attended at the scenes of quite .a number.
I can safely say, without fear of contradiction, that in every ease the accident has not been caused through mechanical failure, whether the vehicles involved were either old or new. The fault lay, not in the condition of the vehicles, but, in nine cases out of ten, in the poor driving, chiefly lack of observation or poor’ judgment. The remaining 10 per cent, were due to the condition of the road surface or the character of the road itself.
The question has arisen : Is there a record compiled for Statistical purposes in respect of the age of all vehicles involved in road -accidents ? To my knowledge there is no such record kept. Only, perhaps, in the case of an accident occurring whereby injury was caused to some person or persons. Even then, all that is required to be stated is whether the vehicles involved were registered before or after 1947.
I will Submit that there is a possibility that the insurance companies have some such record. But that would only be confined to accidents where, a claim has been made against the insurance Company. It is surprising the number of people who do not claim, for fear of losing their ” no claim bonus ‘—or is it ?
I am not a vintage sports-car enthusiast in the strictest sense, for I am not in a position, financially, to purchase a car. If I were, however, I would most certainly become the proud owner of either a vintage Bentley, an Alvis, or a Lagontla.
How annoying it is to hear people stating that such cars, even if well looked after, are, not fit for the road. Even more so when the vintage cars are being blamed for the increase in road accidents. How ridiculous !
I sincerely hope, sir, that you are able to find space to accommodate such a lengthy letter in your excellent magazine, if only to disprove the belief that all police officers frown upon the sight of an old-timer, either roaring, or chugging, through his allotted beat. I am, Yours. etc.,
” INDIGNANT P.C.” [We gladly include this letter and ‘hope those who refer to any car built before 1939 as an ” old-crock ” will read and digest it.—En.]
Continental Notes, May 1959
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