• Short Summary

    Fabulous documentary about road safety - some great footage of bad driving.

  • Description

    Reel 1. Car approaches the camera - low angle shot. "A film on road safety for the Automobile Association, the Royal Automobile Club and the Royal Scottish Automobile Club. Made with the co-operation of the Metropolitan Police." C/U of a lollipop man with big "Stop - Children Crossing" sign. He beckons to children. L/S of children crossing the road in front of lollipop man. Interior of car which has stopped to let children cross. Driver watches the children. M/S of the children walking through the school doors. M/S of children at small desks playing a game. Camera zooms into to three children playing snakes and ladders. C/Us of the children's faces as they play and C/Us of the board. Another game - "The road game." Children drive excellent toy cars around a pint-sized road system which has been constructed to teach children about road safety. The children pedal along in their miniature cars. One boy signals and stops at a zebra crossing to allow a girl to cross. C/Us of the model traffic lights and road signs - "just like the real thing." A boy "driving" along waves to a girl who stands at the finishing line of the child-life-sized game. "The object of the game is to get safely home." C/U of a sign which reads: "Home." C/U of real cars moving off from a standstill. Various shots of traffic moving past the camera from different angles and from different locations. Great traffic jam montage: pedestrians crossing, C/Us of exhaust pipes, impatient feet pumping accelerators, man drumming his fingers on the steering wheel, men looking out of their drivers' windows impatiently, bus driver mouthing: "Come on! Get a move on, what's the matter with you?", chauffeur leans out of the window and peeps his horn, C/Us of lots several hands sounding their horns, C/Us of car horns etc. Narrator details how many people die or are hospitalised due to road accidents. Dissolve to men riding motorcycles: "Now here are some other road users." Motorcyclists drive past camera - various angles. Camera pans around to sign which reads: "Metropolitan Police Motor Driving School" Dissolve to classroom scene. Man in police uniform stands by a blackboard and talks to several men at desks. Shot from front of class to show the policemen at their desks. Closer shot of the policeman at the board - chalk writing on the board reads: "Right Place, Right Speed, Right Gear." Traffic coming towards the camera. C/U of teacher's face. He speaks of the police having to keep an eye out for bad drivers.

    He talks of various types of bad driving by "the other man" i.e. anyone who isn't us. These errors are intercut with reaction shots from the police in the classroom. The "other man" stops without any warning - we see this from the point of view of the driver of the vehicle behind. He parks badly - usually where it is busy or on a bend (shot of car sticking out into the road on a busy corner). He pulls out from the kerb without a signal (another car has to swerve to avoid him.) He hogs the crown of the road (swerving shot seen from point of view of driver behind who is trying to overtake.) He tries to overtake all the cars on the road and hasn't the power to do it (man puts his arm out of the window beckoning the driver who is trying to overtake him.) He covers his rear window with stickers and can't see what's behind him (rear window has stickers for Dublin, Glasgow, York, Bath, Bedford, Swindon, Cardiff, Durham, Bolton, Bristol, Cromer, Newport.) He reverses straight into oncoming traffic (Bentley or Jaguar reverses, almost hitting a double decker bus.) He thinks he can light a cigarette at speed (C/U of young buck lighting a cigarette as he drives, L/S of him travelling along and crashing into a "keep left" bollard.) "She can't make up her mind whether to go left or right" (woman drives a car swerving this way and that, seen from the car in front.) He leaves his car on a corner, and in gear (L/S of a middle aged man getting into a car and it kangaroo jumps as he starts it in gear.) He must overtake, then pulls right across in front of you (car does just that in M/S.) He has to show off to his new girlfriend (M/S of guy and girl in open topped sports car overtaking another car on a country lane.) He has a row at home and takes it out on everyone else on the road (a man cuts another driver up, they stop their cars and shout at each other.) C/U of the police trainer: "One could go on about them for ages, but I've just tried to give you some idea of the vast problem." He then talks of the predictable hazards - "many of them are very clearly marked but you'd be surprised at how often the other man overlooks them." Shots of various road signs: cross-roads, roundabout, road narrows, halt at major road ahead, one way, school, 30 mph speed limit, "slow" painted on the road, woman pushing a pram across a zebra crossing. C/U of a worn tyre. C/U of a tyre which is going flat. C/U of a badly adjusted rear view mirror. L/S of car driving towards the camera then swerving to miss a pedestrian - faulty brakes.

    M/S of policeman at the blackboard. He says: "We in the police force have a maxim of safe driving. Be in the right place, at the right speed and in the right gear." He states that the most important rule of all is: "If you can't see, don't go." He punctuates this statement by pointing a stick at his pupils and looking stern. He then brightens up a bit saying, "Good driving is a lot of fun... play the road game according to the rules showing common sense, foresight, courtesy to other road users etc." He then proposes: "Let's go and see how it is done." The policemen get up from their desks. Exterior of the driving school. Policemen get into their cars. C/U of two policemen sitting in the back seat of the car with the instructor driving. The instructor drives along a regular police car route and comments on the driving he sees as he drives along. Shots of the instructor driving both from inside the car and from a camera seemingly mounted on the bonnet.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    1950 - 1959
    hd format:
    HD at Filmfinity
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:00:07:00 / 01:07:33:00

Comments (0)

We always welcome comments and more information about our films.
All posts are reactively checked. Libellous and abusive comments are forbidden.

Add your comment