Seeing more red

Road safety minister, Robert Goodwill, is thinking of extending red time at traffic lights to allow pension-age pedestrians more time to cross the road. About 6 years ago I briefed him about my take on traffic lights. Disappointingly, he is intent on throwing good money after bad by restricting free will and freedom of movement with yet more regulation! How absurd is the current system which requires one set of road-users (people on foot), to ask permission of another set of road-users (drivers), by means of a signal, to cross the road? If we lived by equality (“After you”), instead of lived and died by priority (“Get out of my way!”), we could dispense with most traffic lights, those weapons of mass distraction, danger and delay. Moreover,¬†Goodwill is shovelling millions into the Think! “campaign”, which basically pays for road signs saying Think!¬†He fails to realise that instructional road signs are a sign of failure to design roads in a way that stimulates equality and empathy. Was our only astute transport minister Leslie Hore-Belisha? His beacon, introduced in 1934, acknowledged the human instinct for cooperation and stimulated interaction between road-users. The current crop of ministers, including Patrick McLoughlin (who laughably blames most traffic “accidents” on mobile phone use), continues to squander public money on systems of counterproductive control. They persist in treating the symptoms of our road safety problems, never the cause.

About Martin Cassini

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