CALMING?

Yet another traffic obstruction has appeared in Great Hollands – a traffic ‘calming’ chicane. This, I understand is to prevent the recent near misses when vehicles emerging from a side street cannot be seen because of an overgrown Pyrocanthus bush. Would cutting back the bush be cheaper and more effective? I note the recent skid marks that have appeared on both sides of the obstruction!
So, following the same logic, if you put a rubber duck beside the site of a recent accident and there was not another accident there for a while, one could claim that the rubber duck was responsible for the improved safety!

DO SPEED CAMERAS SAVE LIVES?

It was reported by the BBC Tuesday, 15 June, 2004, 16:13 GMT that UK Cameras ‘save 100 lives a year’. These are government figures so we know that they can be trusted. These lives have been saved by erecting 5,000 fixed speed camera sites at a cost of

Spend money on roads to cut global warming.

A typical family car with a top speed of 120 mph needs about 121bhp to drive it at that speed. Since the power needed to move that car through the air at half that speed (60mph) goes down by the square root, it can be seen that just 11bhp would do the job. The other 110bhp are only really needed for overtaking and joining fast traffic. If roads were wider then overtaking would be easier and need less power. If acceleration lanes were longer we could join up with fast traffic without needing to accelerate so hard. We need not then have to buy cars with powerful engines just to stay safe and to avoid inconveniencing other road users. If roads were better then we could also avoid traffic jams.
You see where I am going? Better roads would save energy and reduce the rate that Homo sapiens is polluting the atmosphere. A spin off from this is that better roads are safer.
It is easy to blame motorists for having accidents at accident black spots but has anyone considered that our road infrastructure may perhaps need a little money spent on it?
I would not hesitate to advocate a rise in fuel duty to pay for this – except that the money raised in this manner would undoubtedly end up like the ‘road fund’ license. It will be taken from tax donor and used for other ‘worthwhile projects’.

Some people need to be saved from themselves

A top ranking policeman pronounced recently that “drivers who exceed the speed limit by even a modest amount are as guilty as murderers.” Pretty strong stuff considering that many (perhaps even most) drivers exceed the speed limit by accident. This month I heard that the very same policeman has been in trouble for drinking and driving! More on this story as news comes in.
Psychometric tests for drivers has been proposed this month. My experience of drivers who are likely to fare badly in such tests would be prepared to drive without licenses, no matter what the regulations require.

John Silvester on motoring and other musings