If I go to cross on zebra crossing on Outram Street I am pretty sure the car will stop, the driver and I will exchange a nod of our respective heads that communicates our mutual
respect, and we go about our day.
If I am filming down in London and I need to go over a zebra crossing it’s like an extreme sport - people speed up.
If it wasn’t for the training I got by playing Horace Goes Skiing on the ZX Spectrum growing up I’d never get to the job.
I thought it was a sign that we are nicer up here than the people in London but new research has found it might be something else.
Drivers of expensive cars are more dangerous to pedestrians.
A study found that the chances of a car stopping at a zebra crossing falls by three per cent for every £800 rise in their vehicle’s value.
What I thought was a sign of nicer people up here may actually be a sign of fancier cars down there.
The research backs up the old stereotypes of certain types of drivers.
I don’t know if BMWs have their indicators disconnected before they are allowed on the motorway.
I don’t know if the people who drive those cars don’t indicate because they want to cut down their carbon-footprint, but they have the reputation for being stoic in their signalling.
Does this fit with the data, the more expensive the car the less considerate the driver?
Let’s test the opposite case. If you see some old chap in an X-reg Honda they seem to leave their indicators on all the time - very considerate.
Maybe there’s something in this.
Maybe people driving flashier cars are busy people so they don’t want to stop to let you cross, whereas people in cheaper cars can’t afford to do much accelerating, what with the price of petrol these day, so they let you go.
Other studies have found a greater incidence of sociopathy in top business people and they drive nice motors.
I have have solved the mystery.
If more expensive cars make drivers more dangerous, we should cut VAT on cars and make the roads 20 per cent safer.
Rishi Sunak could add that to his Budget on March 11.
And yes, I may be looking for a car at the moment, but that’s just a coincidence.
Steve N Allen is a broadcaster and comedian who was raised in Sutton-in-Ashfield.