A story to cheer Helen up

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Tony Raven, Feb 28, 2004.

  1. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    A decent article in The Times for a change

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,542-1018454,00.html

    In a flash As fast as a camera traps you, you could kill someone

    The Government has announced an increase in the maximum sentence for causing death by driving
    dangerously, or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Road safety campaigners are sceptical
    that increasing the maximum penalty - from ten to fourteen years' imprisonment - will be a
    sufficient deterrent. The maximum sentence is rarely imposed; more commonly, judges hand down terms
    of three to five years for causing death on the roads. Campaigners believe that if a minimum penalty
    of two or three years' imprisonment were imposed, it would send a clearer message to those who might
    otherwise not think twice about careering recklessly on the roads.

    Among motorists generally, speeding is seen, in the same way that drinking and driving once was, as
    acceptable; it is only getting caught that is socially unacceptable. This is partly out of bravado,
    and a mis- taken belief that "I can handle it". It is partly because overregulation has created dis-
    respect for speed limits. To win back respect for the law, the Government should consider raising
    speed limits where conditions allow it: on empty motorways, for instance, or on straight, quiet
    roads at night. Modern vehicles and road surfaces are safer as well as faster than those commonly in
    use when most speed limits were set.

    As long as speed limits do exist - and even if they are unreasonably low - they should be rigorously
    enforced. The current debate over the use, and occasional over-use, of speed cameras shows, however,
    how easily the balance of the law is upset. Ministers have rightly become concerned at plummeting
    respect for a system which will issue up to three million fines this year. They will now tell police
    and local authorities to publish the accident history of every speed camera site, before and after
    installation of the camera.

    For the key to acceptable enforcement, as to government in general, is accountability. And the facts
    about the efficacy of cameras speak for themselves. A camera may be installed on a road only if
    there have been four deaths or serious injuries as a result of speeding in the previous three years,
    and nearly all adhere to this rule. Publishing the figures will winkle out the ones that do not.
    According to the Government, cameras cut the number of casualties and serious injuries in their area
    on average by 35 per cent, although the figures can range from a 67 per cent fall to a 15 per cent
    rise. Publishing the outcomes will help to convince public opinion where the cameras are effective,
    and shame police into removing them where they are acting as cash machines, not as deterrents.

    More importantly, the figures may act as a small step towards changing a culture which refuses to
    acknowledge how dangerous driving is. Those who champion the "freedom of the road" at all costs cut
    into the liberties of others, often to the extent of cutting them down completely. There are an
    unacceptably high number of deaths on the roads: around 3,400 people each year, 2,600 of them
    motorists, cyclists or passengers rather than pedestrians. The numbers who die in train accidents
    are tiny by comparison: ten in 2002-03, five the previous year and seventeen the year before that.

    Yet, as a culture, we react with horror to rail crashes while accepting the far higher number of
    motoring casualties as a price somehow worth paying. There is an inherent casualness in our driving
    culture - we are aware of the benefits, but have never properly factored in the responsibility that
    accompanies the potential danger posed by the automobile. Scare advertisements, fines and tougher
    sentences will make a contribution to the raising of our consciousness, but, in the end, the
    individual behind the wheel has the lives of others in his or her hands
     
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  2. >A decent article in The Times for a change
    >
    >http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,542-1018454,00.html

    Yes, I read it this morning whilst sipping a cup of tea ;-)

    It is good to see more articles appearing which are challenging the view of some motorists who think
    that breaking the speed limit is somehow not wrong and not dangerous. I just hope the feeling
    develops that we all have to be very aware of the potential disasterous nature of driving illegally
    & in and unsafe manner. Perhaps it would be a positive step if, before being considered for taking
    of a driving test, said applicant had to use a pedal cycle as main means of transport for...ohh...
    at least a couple of years or so ;-)

    Cheers, helen s

    --This is an invalid email address to avoid spam-- to get correct one remove dependency on fame &
    fortune h*$el*$$e**nd***$o$ts***i*$*$m**m$$o*n**[email protected]$*$a$$o**l.c**$*$om$$
     
  3. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers wrote:
    > Perhaps it would be a positive step if, before being considered for taking of a driving test, said
    > applicant had to use a pedal cycle as main means of transport for...ohh... at least a couple of
    > years or so ;-)
    >

    Nooooooooooooh

    London Taxi drivers. I rest my case

    Tony
     
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers posted ...

    >> A decent article in The Times for a change
    >>
    >> http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,542-1018454,00.html
    >
    > Yes, I read it this morning whilst sipping a cup of tea ;-)
    >
    > It is good to see more articles appearing which are challenging the view of some motorists who
    > think that breaking the speed limit is somehow not wrong and not dangerous. I just hope the
    > feeling develops that we all have to be very aware of the potential disasterous nature of driving
    > illegally & in and unsafe manner. Perhaps it would be a positive step if, before being considered
    > for taking of a driving test, said applicant had to use a pedal cycle as main means of transport
    > for...ohh... at least a couple of years or so ;-)

    It's my belief that a lot of the problem 'nowadays' is the easy way people can acquire vehicles and
    the lack of them ever having used cycles at all.

    When I were a lad, 'scuse the pun, there were much fewer families with cars, let alone multiple car
    ownership. We all, even the poorest kids, had bikes of one form or another, and the roads _were_
    much clearer. But, we were specifically taught safe cycling techniques at school, at the Youth
    Club, at the local Cycling Club, even at Sunday School fercrissakes. Now there is easy access to
    vehicles and people are being brought up having never gone onto a road in anything other than a car
    they appear to have no concept of the requirements of the cyclist or of their obligation to sharing
    road space.

    As a driver and a cyclist I know there's a balance to be made, but it seems that there are too few
    drivers who are also, or who used to be, cyclists.

    I would suggest specific training sessions in _every_ school from Primary school upwards, with the
    help of local cycling clubs if possible, or regular cyclists, not just from teachers who might
    cycle occasionally, may be a way of addressing the imbalance, but then, not every child has a cycle
    these days ..

    Just a thought .. ;)

    --
    Paul

    (8(|) Homer rocks .. ;)
     
  5. Nick Kew

    Nick Kew Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,

    >
    > When I were a lad, 'scuse the pun, there were much fewer families with cars, let alone multiple
    > car ownership. We all, even the poorest kids, had bikes

    Bah, you lucky swine ... I wanted one, but didn't get it until I spent time in Sweden c/o my uncle
    and aunt who were richer than the parents. "Even the poorest kids" suggests to me a well-to-do
    social circle.

    > of one form or another, and the roads _were_ much clearer. But, we were specifically taught safe
    > cycling techniques at school,

    I was aware of cycling proficiency at school, but by the time I had a bike that was all for
    younger kids.

    > at the Youth Club, at the local Cycling Club, even at Sunday School fercrissakes.

    Heh! Luxuries of the rich ...

    > Now there is easy access to vehicles and people are being brought up having never gone
    > onto a road in anything other than a car they appear to have no concept of the
    > requirements of the cyclist or of their obligation to sharing road space.

    I think it's simpler than that. Thoughtlessness, and frustration.

    > As a driver and a cyclist I know there's a balance to be made, but it seems that there are too few
    > drivers who are also, or who used to be, cyclists.

    A requirement of the driving license should be a certain number of hours on two wheels per year.

    --
    Nick Kew
     
  6. Succorso

    Succorso Guest

    Tony Raven wrote:

    > A decent article in The Times for a change
    >
    > http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,542-1018454,00.html
    >
    > In a flash As fast as a camera traps you, you could kill someone
    >
    > for speed limits. To win back respect for the law, the Government should consider raising speed
    > limits where conditions allow it: on empty motorways, for instance, or on straight, quiet roads at
    > night. Modern vehicles and road surfaces are safer as well as faster than those commonly in use
    > when most speed limits were set.
    >

    No no no. There are quiet, straight roads around here - but they still contain cyclists (even at
    night) - including Helen and me :) A limit of 60mph is already too high for many of these roads.

    --
    Chris
     
  7. Graeme

    Graeme Guest

    [email protected] (Nick Kew) wrote in news:23a6h1-k7f.ln1
    @webthing.com:

    > "Even the poorest kids" suggests to me a well-to-do social circle.

    Or unlocked bikes of the "well to do" :) When I was wee, a reasonably well off friend of mine had a
    couple of bikes of his nicked due to not being bothered to lock them. Mind you, he did have one of
    those old 3 digit combination locks, the ones with transparent coloured plastic covering a laughable
    chain. I used to show anyone who had them just how easy it was to work out the combination (not that
    a thief would bother, a pair of pliers would probably do the job).

    Graeme
     
  8. JohnB

    JohnB Guest

    Tony Raven wrote:
    >
    > A decent article in The Times for a change
    >
    > http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,542-1018454,00.html
    >
    > In a flash As fast as a camera traps you, you could kill someone
    >
    > The Government has announced an increase in the maximum sentence for causing death by driving
    > dangerously, or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Road safety campaigners are
    > sceptical that increasing the maximum penalty - from ten to fourteen years' imprisonment - will be
    > a sufficient deterrent. The maximum sentence is rarely imposed; more commonly, judges hand down
    > terms of three to five years for causing death on the roads.

    As good as far as it goes but unless the judiciary increase sentences then nothing will change and
    it will be just _another_ example of this government's empty rhetoric.

    As the article later suggests perhaps minimum sentences should be introduced.

    John B
     
  9. >No no no. There are quiet, straight roads around here - but they still contain cyclists (even at
    >night) - including Helen and me :) A limit of 60mph is already too high for many of these roads.
    >
    >--
    >Chris

    Indeed Chris. The road between Shipdham & Swaffham has many straight bits, but as they are country
    roads, they can be "interesting" to cycle on... it reminds me of one morning when I got up really
    early and was cycling the lanes hereabouts and was confronted by some idiot who was using the "quiet
    roads" as his own private rally stage, presumably because one doesn't expect to see a cyclist on
    them that early in the morning... He woke up with an expression of "Oh sh*t!" when he saw me..

    I've been out in the car this morning round some of these straight roads which already have a 60mph
    limit on them. Due to the snow, the roads are passable with relative ease as long as a bit care is
    displayed - as what already narrow roads are effectively narrowed due to build up of snow at the
    sides and in the centre. The number of motorists who were clearly going at around the speed limit on
    what were now even narrower roads was appalling. B*gger the fact that the conditions made it
    dangerous to be driving at that speed as they were effectively taking up more than half the
    available width of the road and the slippy, wet conditions would have a negative effect on the
    braking distances of their vehicles...

    Cheers, helen s

    --This is an invalid email address to avoid spam-- to get correct one remove dependency on fame &
    fortune h*$el*$$e**nd***$o$ts***i*$*$m**m$$o*n**[email protected]$*$a$$o**l.c**$*$om$$
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Nick Kew posted ...

    > In article <[email protected]>,

    >>
    >> When I were a lad, 'scuse the pun, there were much fewer families with cars, let alone multiple
    >> car ownership. We all, even the poorest kids, had bikes
    >
    > Bah, you lucky swine ... I wanted one, but didn't get it until I spent time in Sweden c/o my uncle
    > and aunt who were richer than the parents. "Even the poorest kids" suggests to me a well-to-do
    > social circle.

    Heheheh .. Rossington .. pit village, council estate, just south of Doncaster. Not a well-to-do
    community in the 60/70's at all .. the poorest kids got crap bikes, very few of us had new bikes. I
    didn't get a new bike until I was about 12, whoever had a bike, new or old, let others use it too ..
    Mind, we were also driving on farm-land by this time too, on tractors and an old, abandoned, Morris
    1000 'wreck' that had no seats, doors, windows or tyre treads to speak of .. ;)

    >> of one form or another, and the roads _were_ much clearer. But, we were specifically taught safe
    >> cycling techniques at school,
    >
    > I was aware of cycling proficiency at school, but by the time I had a bike that was all for
    > younger kids.

    We all shared ..

    >> at the Youth Club, at the local Cycling Club, even at Sunday School fercrissakes.
    >
    > Heh! Luxuries of the rich ...

    errr .. no. A good community spirit and most people willing to pitch in and help in whatever way.
    Sunday School was non-denominational, if it had been specific there would have been three kids iirc,
    they were really a 'baby sitters' while mums and dads had a couple of hours off from the kids.

    By the way, the local cycling club were about 8 miles distant, not on a bus route either, so we had
    to bike there, then bike back, though we did use field tracks mostly .. or they occasionally came
    to us .. ;)

    >> Now there is easy access to vehicles and people are being brought up having never gone onto a
    >> road in anything other than a car they appear to have no concept of the requirements of the
    >> cyclist or of their obligation to sharing road space.
    >
    > I think it's simpler than that. Thoughtlessness, and frustration.

    But doesn't the thoughtlessness and frustration stem from not understanding the requirements of
    other road users ? They are just the outward signs of this ignorance, they're not really
    thoughtless, they simply don't know any better.

    >> As a driver and a cyclist I know there's a balance to be made, but it seems that there are too
    >> few drivers who are also, or who used to be, cyclists.
    >
    > A requirement of the driving license should be a certain number of hours on two wheels per year.

    Heheheh, yup .. ;)

    --
    Paul

    (8(|) Homer rocks .. ;)
     
  11. AndyMorris

    AndyMorris Guest

    > Nick Kew posted ...
    >
    >> I think it's simpler than that. Thoughtlessness, and frustration.
    >
    > But doesn't the thoughtlessness and frustration stem from not understanding the requirements of
    > other road users ? They are just the outward signs of this ignorance, they're not really
    > thoughtless, they simply don't know any better.
    >

    They are frustrated and thoughtless with each other as well. I think a lot of it stems from the
    dissonace cause by spending several grand a year on the promise of unlimited fun, freedom and
    attraction of the preferred gender and getting fatter every day stuck in the same traffic jam going
    to the job the pay off the never never.

    --
    Andy Morris

    AndyAtJinkasDotFreeserve.Co.UK

    Love this:
    Put an end to Outlook Express's messy quotes
    http://home.in.tum.de/~jain/software/oe-quotefix/
     
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