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Blog : Posts tagged with 'road safety'

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Road safety

In which the area is notorious for something


You often see stuff about road safety on the telly. Less often, things about specific roads. And it’s very rare for this area – the Forest, if you like to think of the Symbolic Forest as a physical place – to get on the telly at all. So when I heard that there was an hour of Channel Four last night solely devoted to road safety in this area, I had to watch it. Even more specific than that: it was purely about one road, the one from here down to Somerset.

We didn’t manage to watch the whole thing; the catalogue of deaths was just too depressing. It wasn’t helped by my habit of saying “That’s the bend coming out of Fir Park” or “That’s just by Cottagers’ Plot” when random stretches of road were shown on-screen; I spend so much time trying to get out of this area, I know all the main roads out of here in great detail. As we didn’t see it through to the end, I don’t know if the documentary tried to offer up any reason why that particular road is so dangerous. All we got was: people round here are crap at driving.

This may be true. Certainly, in my experience, it is true. People in London, say, may have a reputation for bad, aggressive driving, but people in this area are good at sloppy, careless driving; or drunk, too-fast driving; and that’s what leads to so many people dying on a fairly short, fairly ordinary road. It’s because, paradoxically, this area is quiet and isolated, compared to the rest of the country. The question is: is there anything we can do about that?

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Trackable

In which we wonder where road safety meets surveillance


The police have come up with a cunning plan to track every car on the British motorway network. Oh, wonderful. I’m an innocent person.* In theory I’ve got nothing to fear from the police. I’m still uncomfortable at the idea of them having 2 years’ records of my travels around the country, though.

A proposed speed-limit crackdown has already been in the news; and cameras tracking you every quarter-mile of your journey would be an ideal tool to do it with. My own belief – which is entirely unscientific, of course – is that I’m a less safe driver when I think the limit is being strictly checked, because I spend more of my time checking the speed needle rather than checking the road.

* well, I tend to drive at 75mph, but that’s all.

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