I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again.
To transform road safety and transfigure the public realm, we need to reverse the balance of power in favour of the vulnerable. Supported by legal reform, the new hierarchy would make the driver responsible for road safety, not the child!
Change the basic rule of the road from priority to equality. Rewrite the driving test and traffic rulebook accordingly. The new rulebook could be written in a few lines: drive on the left; take it in turns; mind how you go.
This will transform road-user relationships and bring about a change in culture from competition and hostility to cooperation and empathy. “Get out of my way!” to “After you”.
Change the design of roads to express equality and a social context. In the absence of a bridge or flyover, let junctions be all-way give-ways. Instead of “needing” traffic lights – those weapons of mass distraction, danger and delay – we’d use our social instinct and sense of fair play to take it more or less in turns.
Not only will this make roads intrinsically safe, it will cut journey times and emissions by up to 29 times. It will save the economy tens, even hundreds of billions, currently wasted on regulation that costs lives, costs the earth, and acts to our detriment.