Safer for cyclists – £20m road spend – why the expense?

Could we not make the roads safer for everyone, and without spending the £200 million announced on November 27th?
Public spaces and buildings were made much safer and inviting by simple legislation that seemed almost laughable at the time, but which is now taken for granted, even in Scotland and Ireland! You remember what we all said – they’ll never stop the Scots/Irish smoking over their pints!
If we could remove people from the roads for one day there would be a day without road accidents. However, we would soon want to get things moving again and it would be very difficult not to allow people back onto the roads, even knowing that there would be more accidents.
Of course, roads are made dangerous by the people who use them. If we allowed people back onto the roads a little more carefully, in accordance with three simple principles, I am sure that things would change. Just as smoke vanished from pubs and restaurants, and from the clothes which we used to hang up stinking back at home, so our roads could be made much safer for all of us.
The Precautionary Principle. Insist that able-bodied applicants for driving licences fist gain a cycling proficiency test. This would prepare them to use the road with due regard for other road users, those who are moving slower than them, and those who are moving faster, those who are bigger and those who are smaller.
The Prudential Principle. Following an accident all the drivers concerned should be off the road until the cause of the accident has been established and any culpable party dealt with through the courts. The other drivers should be entitled to recover from this driver’s insurers the whole cost to them of inconvenience, taxi hire etc. I suspect that all drivers would try much harder to avoid involvement in accidents and drivers with poor records could be priced off the roads by insurers.
The Protective Principle. If you had convictions for violent or threatening behaviour would you even bother applying for a shot-gun certificate or a firearms licence? Of course not, but far more people are killed by people armed with motor vehicles than with guns or knives. So, if you are violent or threatening to other people you would be banned from the road. Such a ban could usefully be extended to those who use motor vehicles in the commission of crime when escape is likely to become far more important than the safety of others.
Legislation need to be directed at the source of danger on the road, people. People who want to share our roads should be prepared before they get behind the wheel of a car, should know that precautionary measures will be taken following accidents to ensure that drivers who bring danger onto the roads will be removed, and know that they will be protected from people who have demonstrated hostility to others who will not be allowed to arm themselves with a motor vehicle.
We simply need to be mature enough to accept that self-discipline, in the form of robust legislation, is required of us all, just as it is for pilots, train drivers and captains of ships.
When we are eating out or enjoying a drink in a bar we no longer have to lean over to an adjoining table and say: –
“Excuse me. Would you mind putting out that cigarette?”
Why should we continue to share the roads with people who have no consideration for others?

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