Seems a pity

For a driver with so many years’ experience (Michael Hughes-Narborough, Letters, November 22) it seems a pity that he has observed the inadequacies of older cars in terms of tyre quality and braking efficiency but failed to notice the explosion in car numbers and the attendant problems this has brought.

I remember 1947, and though not old enough to be a driver, I can recall crossing roads with little concern about danger from cars.

In those far-off days we could play football in the street, and a friendly local car owner (one of the few) who wanted to pass would give us a friendly ‘toot’ to warn us of his approach.

The elderly, me included, might also ponder the fact that just getting up to the magic 30 miles per hour was a not-inconsiderable achievement in the vehicles of that era.

Vehicle movement within our city is constant; there is never a time of day or night when the roads are still.

Almost all car sales hype includes ‘0 to 60 miles per hour’ as a positive attribute.

It is possible for almost any modern car to reach a lethal speed in seconds.

All vehicles have become quieter; streets are lined with parked cars to the extent that walkers are obliged to squeeze between them and listen attentively in order to cross the road in safety.

We must make allowances for our children perhaps not being as conscientious as they ought in this regard.

Businesses have complained that their journey times would increase, and that this would lead to price increases.

Those of us who took the trouble to do the careful and comprehensive research can reassure them a 20mph limit within the city will only add seconds to their journey times.

Why, one must wonder, do these people who are so concerned about delays not try and get something done about the crossing gates? Surely one of the main delaying factors in any journey time.

Can the new limits be enforced?

If the answer is no, then it applies equally to all existing speed limits.

Many drivers might stray a little (or a lot) over statutory speed limits, but the driver who would ‘take a chance’ at 35mph in a 30mph limit might do the same and ‘chance’ 25mph in a 20mph limit.

If this driver should then collide with a pedestrian, statistics from the Traffic and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL) show that the pedestrian has a much better chance of survival than if he was hit at speeds of 30 mph or more.

If you, or your child, or your aged parent needed to cross a busy road, which speed would you prefer?

Perhaps we cannot remove the idiot from the driving seat, but we can try to make him behave more responsibly.

Alan Carn

Whyke Rd

Chichester