11/28/2005UK Road Minister Becomes Off-Road Minister
UK Road Safety Minister Stephen Ladyman spins out and crashes on a nationally televised program.
Stephen Ladyman, the top road safety official in the UK crashed during his attempt to show off his driving skills in an episode of Top Gear, a BBC program, that aired last night. Ladyman oversees the British network of more than 6000 speed cameras.
"He lifted his foot off the accelerator at the wrong moment," host Jeremy Clarkson said. "It was very funny to watch the road safety minister reversing into a pile of tires."
During his interview on the program, Ladyman admitted he had nine demerit points on his license placing him one speed camera ticket away from a suspension. He also jokingly suggested that he had asked his wife to claim she was driving to help keep his driving record clean -- a serious criminal violation under UK law. In contrast, Clarkson, an ardent foe of photo enforcement, has no points on his license.
Ladyman eventually was able to drive Top Gear's "reasonably priced" Suzuki Liana around the show's track with a time of 1:48.8, beating the times of celebrities such as Patrick Stewart and Lionel Richie, but nowhere near as fast as American Idol judge Simon Cowell.