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    • Killer Crime Continues: Menacing missiles cause death on Britain's roads

28 July 2010

Killer Crime Continues: Menacing missiles cause death on Britain's roads

- One in four motorists have suffered from a missile hitting their vehicle
- 81% of motorists have seen people throwing objects into the road during the last five years
- 89% of motorists haven’t reported incidents they’ve seen to police

Following the latest incidents in Kent and Wales – where youngsters were seen throwing missiles at vehicles – motorists are being urged to report the thugs who throw missiles at cars ‘for fun’, after alarming independent research has revealed a hidden menace which is risking hundreds of lives every year.

Michael Baker of Littlehampton, West Sussex, died last Saturday after a fatal road traffic accident on the A20 in Kent where youngsters were seen hurling stones at moving traffic.

On Monday in Wales, Lee Thomas of Caerau, Maesteg, escaped serious injury by inches when a lump of concrete was thrown from a bridge onto his car, shattering the windscreen.

Independent research carried out on behalf of Autoglass has revealed that a staggering 89  per cent of people in the South East never report what they’ve seen, despite one in five motorists suffering from this potentially fatal craze.

Autoglass recently released shocking film footage of simulated tests at MIRA (formerly the Motor Industry Research Association), showing just how catastrophic the damage is when a brick collides with the windscreen of a typical family car, in the hope that it will encourage motorists to call the police.

Seven out of ten motorists worry when driving under a bridge with people on it but drivers are very clear about what should be done to those found responsible for causing casualties in this way, with almost three-quarters (73%) saying the maximum penalty should be higher than the existing seven years imprisonment and/or a fine, with 54 per cent agreeing that imprisonment or detention is the only appropriate action if casualties are caused.

In excess of 90 per cent (94%) said that some form of preventative action needs to be taken (i.e. high fencing/CCTV/funding educational programmes or providing police with more resources) but without accurate statistics to show where the problem areas are, funds will never be appropriated correctly until a serious accident or fatality is caused to bring it to light. This is why Autoglass is calling for local authorities to back the campaign asking for motorists to report incidents and then using this information to consider if installing CCTV or netting is appropriate.

Matthew Mycock, managing director of Autoglass, said: “We fix thousands of windscreens every day, so we see first-hand the consequences of such reckless behaviour and is why we commissioned the report to find out the scale of the problem. The images from the MIRA testing bring home, only too graphically, how potentially fatal this vandalism can be, when you’re in a vehicle travelling at motorway speeds.

“Parents can also help reduce this risk by talking to their youngsters about these activities and making them aware of how serious the consequences can be. However, the main way to reduce these hidden crimes is for drivers to report all incidents to the police, so they can take action – together this will save lives.”

To read the full report and watch the shock video footage at http://www.Autoglassnews.co.uk/index.php?id=motorway-missile-danger

 

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