OK, I admit occasionally to watching Sky News (motto: Feeding pap to the masses), but this morning there was an item on their ‘vox pop’ slot by a chap advocating the removal of traffic lights in order to improve road safety, the premise being that drivers, however normally aggressive, don’t want to bend their car or themselves and therefore are more careful.
This radical proposal was immediately poo-pooed by the chunky Irishman and his hench-ladies, but hang on, let’s think about it. Are you, however arrogant and self-possessed, gong to roar through a crossroads despite the fact that a fourteen-wheel forty tonner might be about to T-bone you? No, you’re not. You are going to slow right down and look first before proceeding in an orderly manner. Job jobbed, says I.
Now let’s take this a stage further. Idiots demand the right to drive, ‘normally’ for them, whatever the weather conditions. They drive at the legal limit (or above) in snow, ice, fog, heavy rain or whatever. “Where were the gritters”, they wail after a multiple pile-up leaves them and others on stretchers or worse, as if it were always somebody else’s fault for their failed attempt at a Darwin Award.
And something else. I have driven on some very hairy mountain roads around the world and here in Portugal – narrow road, deep ravine below and no Armco or barriers of any kind, but there in nothing better to concentrate the mind and slow down than seeing an upturned, rusty wreck at the bottom of said ravine with only a forlorn little shrine to mark the occupant(s) demise. Even the dirt track up to The Cave has eighty metre drops on the interesting side and will kill you if you get careless or cocky.
So, when I assume power, traffic lights will be removed, gritters will be left in the depots and their crews employed removing barriers on mountain roads. I’m not kidding!