THE TRUTH A 10 lw OUT THESE ACCIDENTS
N0 one can deny that the casualty list from road accidents in this country is too high. The bare figures of 6,425 killed and 198,610 injured during 1933 are bound to give rise to urgent demands by sections of the Daily Press that new legislation should be introduced to reduce the number of accidents. Unfortunately, although it has been proved that more often than not the pedestrian is responsible for his own death, and sometimes that of the motorist, it is the latter against whom such panic legislation is certain to be directed.
The rumour that the Daily Press agitation is probably prompted by those interested in the limitation of road traffic is immaterial. The fact remains that the motor1st’s freedom of the road is likely to be seriously restricted.
What should be done, in fairness to all road-users, to reduce accidents ? The following points would, we consider, provide the surest way of bringing about this desirable end. 1. The issue of a driving license should be subject to the a
a driving test, and to his memorising every article of the Highway Code.
2. The existing mobile force of mediocre drivers equipped with mediumpowered cars should be substituted by a force of expert, intelligent riders of fast motor-cyclists, in greater numbers than the present quantity of police cars. 3. Many more parking places should be provided in cities, thereby saving the wages of the innumerable constables whose job it is at present to stand about for hours waiting for the return
to his car of an unfortunate motorist who has been unable to find room on an authorised park. The money thus saved could be used to supplement the force of motorcyclists.
4. These police motor-cyclists should be able to recognise any transgression of the Highway Code, and should overtake and stop all motorists and cyclists thus guilty.
5. Many pedestrians will never be induced to exercise care in crossing the road until they are penalised for not doing so. Legislation should therefore be introduced which would make it an offence for pedestrians to cross the road without due care.
6. Certain sections of the Highway Code should be enforced under stress of a severe penalty, such as ” filtering ” from a side turning into a main road without first stopping. This applies also to cyclists. Flagrant cases should be penalised by suspending the culprit’s driving licence.
7. It should be made compulsory for bicycles to carry rear lights. 8. A drastic overhaul of road surfaces should be
made immediately. It should not be beyond the scope of human ingenuity to devise a non-skid surface. Wrongly cambered corners should be eliminated as far as expenditure will allow.
9. Parents allowing children to ride miniature bicycles or use roller-skates in the road should be prosecuted. Road safety lessons should be included by law in the curriculum of every school.
10. It should be a punishable offence to allow a dog to stray into a main road off the lead.
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