trust – tolerance – self-sufficiency
That the car presents serious problems – congestion, pollution, etc, not to mention some 3000 or so deaths every year – is obvious. However, it has to be accepted that our society and economy have developed around almost everyone having personal, door-to-door transport. Not only will this not be given up, it should not be. The various problems must be approached in several ways:
- Use of hydrogen and other sustainable, low carbon emission, fuels instead of petrol and diesel. (Not biofuel from food crops)
- Well designed, small, low fuel consumption cars and motorised bicycles suitable for commuting.
- Improved public transport – road, rail, air, water – with simpler pricing systems and co-ordinated timetables. (The high-speed rail link is a typical, headline seeking vanity project. It will drain resources down to London and is already blighting the properties of people living along its possible route. It will be abandoned)
- Reduction of the need to travel – internet trading, selling of food close to point of origin, planning laws to encourage mixed domestic and small business developments.
- Improved driving knowledge and techniques, including, updating of the driving test to account for modern driving conditions and the social responsibility of the driver.
- The blood/alcohol limit will be lowered to clarify the position that any drinking and driving is unacceptable.
- Competency tests must be found to check on drivers under the influence of drugs.
- People found guilty of driving offences should be retrained (see 5) and tested, and financial penalties should be cumulative.
- Congestion charges will be abolished. They are based on the idea that we are too stupid to work out things for ourselves and must be controlled – with our money – from above, coupled with the really stupid idea that this can be achieved by computers and bureaucracy. The answer to congestion is congestion. Businesses and individuals will find other ways of working once congestion becomes uneconomic. Toll charges, being expensive ways of moving taxpayers’ money between different state organizations, should also be abolished as part of the overall tax reform.
- Speed limits. The concept should be re-examined. Ostensibly to prevent accidents these have become simply arbitrary sources of State revenue. Worse, they encourage driver irresponsibility by fostering the wholly fallacious idea that driving within the speed limit is intrinsically safe. No statistics exist for accidents caused by drivers exceeding the speed limit, only inappropriate speed, i.e. bad driving, and even this is a factor in only about a third of all serious accidents. Road safety will only be improved by improved driver education, (See 5) and the definition of more appropriate offences coupled with better policing and enforcement.
- Roadside cameras will be maintained as appropriate only for traffic monitoring and control. As part of the reform of the Police Service, more officers will be patrolling in unmarked cars to deal with the real bad drivers – those who tailgate, jump lights, cut in, lane hop etc, all of which will become offences. We accept all these actions too blithely. In reality, each is life-threatening and if similar personal danger was offered with a shotgun, a long prison sentence would result.
- There must be a debate about the treatment of traffic offences generally, particularly difficult matters such as deaths resulting from ‘minor’ driving errors.
- Did you know?
HELP AND INFORMATION WANTED
- Driving bans being ludicrously ineffective, practical ideas for how to deal with persistent driving offenders.