I saw a report in last week’s Daily Telegraph suggesting that whilst road deaths are on a general downwards slope, drink-driving deaths were up last year. The report then brings up the perennial debate about speed cameras. This is, of course, a complex matter, involving the intersection of people, technology and legislation. Cars and trucks are big, heavy and fast, so road safety – for passengers and pedestrians – has been the subject of life-saving innovation for decades.
On display in the museum we’ve got plenty about road safety. Here’s the first Gatso speed camera to be installed in Britain (on Twickenham Bridge, if I remember correctly):
Also on show is a selection of breathalysers, including a self-test kit bought at a garage:
We also have a small family of crash-test dummies used at the Motor Industry Research Association to model the effects of collisions on car occupants, including this one:
As far as I recall, this particular model is called ‘Sierra Susie’. I’ll tell you a little more about her and her friends in a later post.
I was brought up on all the road safety campaigns of the 1970s and 1980s and I can still recite my Green Cross Code (see a cool Green Cross safety film at the National Archives website here). I tried to find my old Tufty Club badge just now but I seem to have lost it.
I’d be really keen to collect road safety campaign paraphernalia for the Science Museum’s road transport collection, so if you’ve got a treasured archive of that stuff and you’re looking for a home for it, I’d love to hear from you!