BBC presenters lecture on road safety while not looking at the road

Published: 15 November 2012

A BBC road safety series has been criticised for having its presenters drive while looking at the camera in an episode focussing on distraction. 

The AA accused BBC2’s How Safe are Britain’s Roads? of setting a bad example.

In last week’s programme, looking at drivers on the phone, presenters Justin Rowlatt and Anita Rani repeatedly took their eyes off the road while telling viewers the major cause of accidents “is us, the British driver”.  

Andrew Howard, the AA’s road safety head, said: “If a mobile phone can distract you – and lots of research shows it can – I have to say the presenters could have been distracted too.

“The presenter will be thinking about what he’s saying, not what he’s doing on the road. We need to think about the example being set.”

A BBC publicist said: "We gave great consideration to the planning of the pieces including time of day, location, speed, weather and road conditions.

"The presenter’s pieces to camera were kept to a minimum and were well rehearsed to reduce the amount of thought needed to deliver the lines.

"We also endeavoured to make sure they never looked at the camera for longer than they would look in the rear view mirror or at their instruments.”