In the market town of Barnstaple recently, as I crossed Pilton Causeway on foot through slow-moving traffic, I was honked at aggressively (the guy must’ve held down his horn for about ten hours). The reason for the driver’s wrath was my temerity in asserting what I see as my equal right to the road space. All he had to do was take his foot off the accelerator, and he lost no ground in slowing so I could cross. What he couldn’t stand, and in my view is the root of road rage, is that I disobeyed the rule of priority, which grants him right-of-way. I motioned for his passenger to open the window. The point I tried to make through his invective was that I blamed him less than I blamed the system for promoting his brand of delinquency. – This was just one instance of countless similar ones which shows that priority is anathema to civilised road-user relationships, and the trigger for road rage. Priority is also, I submit, the root cause of “accidents”. And yet, despite its defects and dangers, and my efforts to disabuse the custodians of the system, priority is defended by the Department for Transport and promoted by traffic authorities as the fundamental rule of the road. I hereby accuse the Department and all who sail in it of stupidity, negligence and abuse.

About Martin Cassini

Campaign founder and video producer, pursuing traffic system reform to make roads safe, civilised and efficient
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