Complaints from all the various users of our roads, be they drivers, cyclists or pedestrians, are commonplace; often one blaming another. In part this is down to some rather antiquated rules and regulations but largely it is due to the huge increase in all forms of traffic in recent years.
The Big Idea
It can sometimes take a while for any government to get to grips with any given situation, but finally the Department for Transport has come up with a set of ideas which they hope will alleviate the situation. Ideally (and rather obviously) the plan is to try and minimise collisions and road rage and create a safe environment, one that perhaps gets people to walk and cycle more. Outcome: Less pollution, less congestion and a healthier population, is their thinking.
These ideas come under the heading of ‘The Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy’. There is a grand total of fifty proposals. Possibly the most important one, given the ongoing ‘us versus them’ debate between cyclists and motorists, centres around the thinking that motorists who also cycle are less likely to crash into vulnerable road users on the basis of being more aware. A positive outcome of this might be that drivers could get cheaper car insurance if they complete a cycling course. It will be interesting to see if insurance companies are prepared to get on board with this idea.
Police And The Public Dashcam
Trying to take a balanced view, the authorities want to be seen to penalise not just dangerous motorists but also cyclists and others. Given the low numbers of police officers on our roads these days, the idea that public dashcam footage can be examined is given some credence. The Police could receive, review, and utilise footage in certain circumstances and funding may well become available to do this. How the public will feel about this is perhaps less certain. Drivers use dashcams to provide evidence in the case of accidents or to help eradicate ‘cash for crash’ crime. Whether or not they will be prepared to hand it over is another matter.
Another of the many suggestions is to make it easier to penalise motorists that park in cycle lanes. This is where more cameras and automatic number plate recognition devices could be deployed to eliminate real police boots on the ground. Perhaps not the most popular notion, but there is certainly a case for action against pavement parking where this action could be inconvenient or dangerous to others.
These new topics for consideration are food for thought. It would mean though that cash-strapped local councils would have to invest in walking and cycling lanes. There would also have to be a revamp of the Highway Code and other training materials so that new drivers will start as they mean to go on. Also, new drivers will of course need to purchase a car which is where our comprehensive attitude to selling vehicles can come into play. Buying a vehicle
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