Why not use common sense?

It was interesting to read this week's Budleigh Journal, especially the three road-related articles by Graham Britton.

It was interesting to read this week's Budleigh Journal, especially the three road-related articles by Graham Britton. From speed cameras to pot holes, he focuses some attention on the highways we all take for granted, yet are so poorly maintained by the county council. His front page headline on speeding first caught my eye.Firstly, much government hype is based purely around speed, yet this does not make our roads a safer place. As someone who is a keen and committed cyclist, a motorcyclist of 30 years' experience and a car driver of 30 years' experience, I have seen every single branch of the road-using public, both acting in an illegal manner and an unsafe manner. Yet speed generates revenue and cameras do not require the same expenditure as officers on the beat. So reliance is based on camera-led prosecutions, which are meaningless. Many cameras are not placed at accident blackspots, but at revenue generation hotspots - places where it is safe to exceed the speed limit and therefore places which earn money.In all my years, I have ridden or driven according to the road conditions. This has nothing whatsoever to do with speed limits, merely common sense and respect for other road users.Sadly, today, we have the "sat nav generation" who are incapable of independent thought. "Sally sat nav" tells them where to go and rarely do they indicate to other road users. Mobile phone users, many of them women (from my near-death experiences - 70% women, 30% men), will gossip endlessly about complete trivial garbage, because technology has put a phone in their hands. Inconsiderate cyclists ride narrow roads two abreast, as can be said for some horse owners, who have lost the use of their limbs and cannot give a wave of thanks when a considerate motorist passes wide and slow. Ramblers, replete with alloy poles and knapsacks, look disdainfully at car drivers on country lanes, yet are quite happy to get back in their car after a ramble and drive home.We live on a tiny island, where the scramble to use our highways and byways leads to conflict between many user groups. Sadly the focus on speed, rather than polite, courteous and civil treatment of your fellow road user, does nothing to make the roads safe. We need officers enforcing all aspects of traffic law, not just penalising people who exceed the speed limit. The exercising of common sense is a far greater goal. What is more dangerous: doing 90mph on a deserted motorway at 8pm on a summer's evening, which is illegal, or doing 30mph past a primary school with hundreds of young children exiting? It's not illegal if there is a 30mph limit, yet extremely unsafe and stupid.We then see that the state of our roads is a cause of some consternation, yet why are we surprised? Billions of pounds in revenue is taken from the motorist every year, yet this "pot" is raided to such an extent, that only a small portion of the money is actually spent on maintaining our highways. Ian R Woolger,16 Otter Court, Budleigh Salterton.


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