Re: Road safety
- From: "DVH" <dvh@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2007 09:19:32 +0100
"Ar" <Ar@::1.t> wrote in message
Motorists will face a mandatory speed limit of 20mph in residential
areas if the government accepts proposals that would reduce the annual
death toll of 3,100 people on British roads.
If you want road safety, may I propose three measures which are FAR
cheaper and would actually make a difference, not a statistical fiddle
that the speed limit issue is.
1) Make drivers use their headlights in the dark. The police fail to
enforce this.. 90% of drivers* that drive with their lights off at
night are black. These drivers are impossibly hard to spot, and even
worse in thick fog AND dark, because they still refuse to switch
2) Make bicycle riders have compulsary front and rear lights on their
bikes, and use them day or night. No lights on bike, crush the bike.
3) Bring in a 'jaywalking' charge against pedestrians. It seems these
days that pedestrians do not know how to cross a road. Most just walk
out into the road without looking, and expect a driver to stop for
them whatever speed the driver was doing.
4) Enforce the lighting of all car number plates, again, the police
fail to do this. There are many that act suspiciously or have done
something and are very hard to spot to inform on because you can't
read the plate.
How about a different approach altogether? Removing most regulations would
have the effect of making people responsible for their own actions. Fans of
this approach even say it improves road safety, and point to evidence that
accidents fall where regulation is removed.
The problem is that traffic and pedestrian movement is far too complex for
regulators to understand and control. The solution is to allow people's self
interest to take over.
Their self-interest consists of avoiding collisions with other motorists and
pedestrians. Hence it is also a common interest. So give people the scope to
make their own decisions about how they behave on the roads, and their
self-interest will benefit everybody.
There's good evidence this works from Holland and Denmark, and it is said to
have cut the accident rate on Kensington High Street by a good amount.
The principle is illustrated neatly in this article:
"Psychologists have long revealed the senselessness of such exaggerated
regulation. About 70 percent of traffic signs are ignored by drivers. What's
more, the glut of prohibitions is tantamount to treating the driver like a
child and it also foments resentment. He may stop in front of the crosswalk,
but that only makes him feel justified in preventing pedestrians from
crossing the street on every other occasion. Every traffic light baits him
with the promise of making it over the crossing while the light is still
There are lots of pictures of this in action here:
These pictures also show how much more attractive streets look without the
forest of ugly street signs and road markings, which everybody ignores
- Prev by Date: Re: Cameron vows to reform welfare
- Next by Date: Re: humility
- Previous by thread: Cameron vows to reform welfare
- Next by thread: Re: Road safety