This entry was posted on Thursday, November 13th, 2008 at 10:45 am and is filed under Bad motoring. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
My home town of Newcastle upon Tyne is to phase in a 20mph speed limit for almost all streets and roads. This is partially because of the 2004 death of a child cyclist, killed when hit by a driver motoring at 61mph in a 40mph area.
Does the headline in the local newspaper show that genuine child safety comes pretty low on the priorities of many people? The Evening Chronicle says the new speed limit is to be “imposed” on Newcastle.
Now, I’m biased, but if were the editor of the Evening Chronicle I’d have broken out the champagne at the news that local streets were to be made safer for children, and everybody else. Mind you, if I was editor I would have devoted page after page, campaign after campaign, to shaming city councillors into acting on speed reductions sooner.
Local newspapers are a force to be reckoned with. Sadly, the Journal and the Chronicle have preferred to campaign for “duelling the A1″ north of Newcastle. Widening the Great North Road, pouring more concrete on to the finite ground of Northumberland, is also deemed to be a ‘road safety’ issue. Apparently, lives would be saved if only the “dangerous” A1 was made into a duel carriageway for its whole length.
Lives are lost on the A1 because drivers take stupid risks. On those stretches of the A1 with speed cameras, most drivers slow down and fatalities are lower.
Local newspapers across the UK ought to be championing lower speeds. I wish every town and city had the same civic sense as Newcastle. It’s going to be a better place to live.