At around 7:30am on New Year’s Day 2015, James Stephenson was killed on the A3 near Bramshott in Hampshire. One man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving, but Hampshire Police took no further action. Naturally, I wondered why. I finally managed to track down a report of the inquest, published in the Haslemere Herald in May 2015, and—perhaps unsurprisingly—it doesn’t really resolve that question.
In the Northumbrian village of Corbridge, a stretch of road has had some white lines removed and some new ones painted.
And it’s causing a stir.
A couple of weeks ago I spotted a Vauxhall Corsa with a sticker on it, took a photo of it, tweeted it, and got a nice reply from the company who owned it. And that was pretty much it.
However, I hadn’t really expected the vitriolic (and often uninformed) responses—mainly on Singletrack’s Facebook page—that it generated once people found out about it. (That said, the stats on the posts indicate that the vitriolic comments are overwhelmed by tacit support. As usual: it’s a vocal minority shouting the loudest.)
So, given that there’s such a variation of views (and the fact that I’m not on Facebook) I thought: perhaps it’s worth explaining why I did it.
Some ideas are good ideas. But sometimes people’s belief in those good ideas can, whether through over-enthusiasm or for other reasons, lose sight of reality. And that can cause problems.
One good idea is that of presumed liability. But has Road Share, the campaign for presumed liability in Scotland, lost sight of reality?
The main focus of the Beyond the Kerb blog has always been the aspect of road use in general which I find—literally, in all too many cases—morbidly fascinating: people’s attitudes, which are manifested not just in people’s personal use of the roads, but also in the media and, most concerningly of all, law. But, occasionally, I mention cycling infrastructure.
It’s perhaps no surprise that contemporary definitions of the word “terrorism” have largely narrowed somewhat, but one of the Oxford English Dictionary’s definitions of “terrorism” still represents the broader usage:
The instilling of fear or terror; intimidation, coercion, bullying.
The first use of the term is believed to have been around 1794 and was in reference not to to the use of terror as a tool to undermine governments, but to the use of terror by governments themselves. Only a few years later it was being used in reference to the British government of the time.
In writing his guest post about the Notice of Intended Prosecution, Ralph shared with me some material he received from Surrey Police. It makes for interesting reading, and this post highlights one particular point.
This is a guest post by Ralph de Kanter. It’s about just one frustrating aspect of the business of attempting to tackle bad driving: the Notice of Intended Prosecution.
Over to Ralph to share his experience of how this works out in practice, from the point of view of a road user at risk from others’ bad driving. (Feel free to share your own experiences in the comments.)
It is often said that an unenforceable law is futile, perhaps even counter-productive. But is this really true?