Day 25

I’ve been thinking about road safety.

The government has, according to the papers, just enacted a huge number  of new laws to make the roads safer for for pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists whilst ensuring that drivers of motor vehicles are held responsible for all the bad things that happen.

Leaving the moral dimension of road use to one side, I will start with pointing out the obvious – there’s no point trying to hold pedestrians, horse riders or cyclists responsible for their actions on the roads as you can’t identify them. You can identify motorists because we all have to have numbers on display. It’s actually an offence to have your car number plate obscured, but all other road users are allowed to get away with their various delinquencies due to their anonymity.

I’m not allowed to use a hand-held telephone whilst driving. Yet a pedestrian is allowed to use one whilst walking across the road and I, according to the new guidelines, have to give way to them. Similarly, I now have to do the thinking for cyclists as it will be my fault if I hit one.

What really annoys me is that whatever part of the government came up with all this rubbish seems to think I spend my life on the road running down pedestrians and cyclists and, for some reason, driving too close to horses.

I don’t. In my driving career I have so far managed to avoid pedestrians, cycles and horses. Not only do I not want to injure another road user, I don’t want the hassle of reporting an accident and losing my no-claims discount. And I certainly wouldn’t drive too close to a horse, even one where the rider seemed to be in control (which isn’t always the case) because they are large, unpredictable and, unlike car drivers, not insured for third party claims.

I can’t help thinking that these are not the same sort of changes I would make if I were in charge (assuming I could find time for governing amongst all the lockdown parties).

Rather than bore you with the full tedium of my proposals (which I am currently preparing for my MP) I will just say that I consider Jeremy Clarkson to have once had a great idea about road safety. It was simply this – instead of putting air bags in steering wheels to reduce injuries to drivers it would be better to install a large spike. This would make them drive more carefully and reduce road accidents. So far I have been unable to fault the logic.

Today’s picture is the one I always use to induce tranquility. Lavinia’s comment on water voles reminded me.


20 thoughts on “Day 25

  1. tootlepedal

    I have a simpler plan to solve traffic problems in towns. Take all cars off the road, stop people blocking up the Queen’s Highway with great lumps of metal which just sit around for most of the time. Make all lorries park outside the town and then deliver their loads by electric bikes. This would not solve all problems as there would still be cycle congestion but at least it would stop motorists poisoning my granddaughters. It might encourage people and retailers to shop and stock more locally too.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      It’s a simple plan, I agree.

      Now, if you assume a lorry is carrying its full load of 44 tonnes and a bike can carry 140 kg (being generous). The rider, equipped with the full panoply of cycling accessories (high-vis clothing, flashing lights bottles of energy drinks in special holders) probably weighs in at 70kg (more if it’s raining) meaning that you would need 628 cycle trips to move the cargo.

      I can already see a number of practical problems that will need solving, such as what happens if an item weighs more than 70kg, recharging stops and bad weather. My observations suggest that most of the cyclists will then take to their cars . . .

      1. tootlepedal

        I think that you underestimate what a bike can carry. Think of a tandem with two big men on it. Also the bikes will be towing trailers. Also the 44 tonne lorries will be redundant as supplies will be sourced in small quantities from more local sources. And of course, the sun will also always shine in this brave new world.

      2. quercuscommunity Post author

        I hadn’t considered trailers but I did check what load a bicycle wheel could take. Add “invent a stronger bicycle wheel” to the list. Thinking of brave new worlds does suggest that we might need to breed a race of supercyclists . . .

        Talking of locally sourced food, where do you suggest growing rice? The Broads or newly rewilded Fens would have the water but possibly not the temperatures. Or do we convert to Bolognaise and Mash and Chicken Tikka Masala Mashed Aloo? Still much detail to work out. If I were a younger man I would enter Parliament and try to get onto the committee for discussing such matters – a lifetime of foreign travel and cheese and wine parties.

      1. quercuscommunity Post author

        Can this be the same woman who wrote “I’m brilliant and beautiful and LOL funny. I can make you laugh and cry with my writing. I manage to seamlessly figure out the meaning of life every day.”? I hope it passes soon. 🙂

  2. charliecountryboy

    I couldn’t agree more, even though I am a pedestrian and a cyclist. Someone posted the new rules for cyclists and I thought it was a joke 😂 One if those spoof posts until I read the comments🤷🏻
    Although I’m not sure if all horse riders are “large and unpredictable?” 😂😉


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