Road safety minister backs Top Gear
The road safety minister last week defended the BBC's Top Gear programme and described the presenter Richard Hammond as an 'adventurer'.
Critics of the show have accused it of glamorising speed, encouraging 'yobbish' driving and promoting gas-guzzling vehicles.
However, Dr Stephen Ladyman,(above) said he was 'distressed' that some people were using Hammond's crash in a jet-powered car as 'an excuse to knock the programme'.
Speaking as the BBC announced that the next series of the programme had been postponed following the crash, he said: "Richard is an adult and he chose to drive that test. If there's a land speed record someone will want to break it. He clearly is an adventurer and he was doing something that he wanted to do and enjoyed doing. I think it would be really sad if a tragedy like this one was used to attack an entertainment."
Dr Ladyman, who was featured racing (and crashing) a car on Top Gear last year, denied the show encouraged reckless driving. "They celebrate great engineering and, yes, they celebrate fast cars . . . but, equally, they've had me on the programme giving out road safety messages," he said. "People don't go onto the road and break the speed limit because they watch Top Gear."
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