Road users should show consideration

HOW sad it was to read letters last week deploring the behaviour of selfish and arrogant road users, of both motorized vehicles and cycles.

As a cyclist myself I am constantly embarrassed by the conduct of those who abuse the rules of the road by riding carelessly on footpaths, or jump traffic lights on pedestrian crossings and at busy junctions.

Perhaps they feel that having been terrorized off the roads themselves by the car, they consider they have licence to terrorise those further down the food chain who simply wish to walk on the pavements in safety.

They let the side down very badly but I don’t suppose they would be bothered by such aesthetic considerations.

Even more dangerous are speeding cars in built-up areas. I confess to being anti-social to such an extent that I drive at no more than 30mph within a 30mph zone, quickly gathering behind me a tail-gating procession of would-be speedsters.

These are by no means always cars and too often drivers of lorries, buses and vans are to be seen too close in my rear-view mirror.

I seem to remember a road safety campaign some time ago, stating that a child struck at 40mph is unlikely to survive, someone struck at 30mph stands a good chance of recovery from injuries.

Yet I see plentiful examples of young children in cars being driven by mothers or fathers at well over the speed limits.

They would be the first to condemn speeding drivers if their child was knocked down by a speeding driver.

Perhaps the answer might be the use of average speed cameras at the start and end of speed restriction zones through villages.

These have been in much use in recent years in road works on motorways and perhaps could be usefully transferred to built-up areas.

Provided enforcement was frequent and consistent, they might prove more of a deterrent than the speed limit signs.

I could foresee a difficulty whereby a motorist, having been held up soon after entering a village might speed up when the road clears, knowing that his average speed would be clocked as well inside safe limits.

But surely this is all about simple human consideration for others to ensure everyone’s safety on the road network.

Is that really too much to ask?

Keith Hillier-Palmer

The Mint