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2765RE: [carfree_cities] Evora

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  • philip@aal.cix.co.uk
    Mar 8, 2001
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      > >had limited the speed of his car
      > >to, say, 20 MPH, the people he hit
      > >probably would not have died.
      > In the UK, owners of lethal weapons, such as firearms, are required to
      > not only carry a licence but to use their weapons in dedicated shooting
      > ranges.
      > Not so in the case of car owners!
      > In built-up areas, pedestrians risk their lives having to dodge car
      > drivers. We have to negotiate virtual shooting ranges.
      > With a simple change of law this could easily be redressed. Let car
      > drivers do what they will on their shooting ranges -- dual-carriageways,
      > motorways, but in town centres they drive at 10 mph. Common sense!!
      > Inonvenience verses Life Saving. Simple chice. Why not give it to us?
      > Try it for goodness sake!

      Great in theory! But where is the enforcement?
      I'm not sure about the US, but here in the UK the all-powerful Media are
      forever condemning the Police for "picking on the poor motorist", who they
      feel should get away with everything from speeding to blocking bus stops.
      And indeed, they *do* get away with motoring transgressions.
      The obvious compromise here is that the Police should spend less time and
      "tax dollars" policing the Motorway/Highway speed limits, and more time
      protecting Pedestrians in urban areas from speeding and red-light running
      One of the Media's cynical angles is that "Picking on motorists" increases
      the Arrest rate. This is nonsense; If the Police really wanted to go for
      volume of arrests, they would walk round towns and city centres, where
      they would witness Speeding, illegal parking, illegal turns, driving over
      junctions when Pedestrians have the green light etc, *every ten yards*
      Where Chemists, AutoBank machines or Take-Aways have been built adjacent
      to bus stops/termini, I guarantee that an Police Officer or Traffic Warden
      could walk past a catch at least two motorists illegally or obstructively
      parked. All they would then need to do would be to walk round a corner and
      return three minutes later and catch another two. On average, I see three
      vehicles parked on the four town centre bus stops I pass each evening on
      my way home from work. At �20 a time, I reckon Traffic Wardens should be
      earning the taxpayer thousands of pounds a day each, just by concentrating
      on Bus Stops.

      Every lunchtime I look out of my canteen window and see a Fork Lift truck
      make an illegal turn out of Piccadilly Bus Station (Manchester) and cross
      a Pedestrian crossing when the Pedestrians have right of way.
      Last night I was almost hit twice within 30 seconds as I walked to catch
      my bus home. First I just managed to get ahead of a cyclist weaving his
      way through pedestrians on the pavement at about 10 mph. Then as I crossed
      the junction five yards away, on the pedestrian phase, a PH taxi crossed
      the red light and I had to step back onto the kerb.
      These are all everyday occurrences.

      In a 48-hour period this week, two people have been killed by cars in
      criminal circumstances, within 10 miles of each other.
      During Monday's evening rush hour, a Policewoman was knocked down and then
      run over, whilst on "routine patrol" on the Manchester/Oldham border. Then
      last night, a man was hit and killed by a stolen car whilst walking *on
      the pavement* near Rochdale, some 8 miles North-East of the earlier
      tragedy. This car then sped off, and AFAIK the Police are still looking
      for the driver.
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