Long suffering motorists have finally been handed some good news.
Traffic cameras could soon be used to impose fines on those inconsiderate types who block junctions, ignore road signs and mistakenly believe the basic rules of the road don’t actually apply to them
The suggestion follows a successful trial period in London (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6072456.stm) where, as well dishing out welcome fines to the nuisances of the road, the campaign also helped to ease congestion as wary drivers chose to abide by the rules. As a result traffic flow improved and so the aim is to trial a similar approach across the rest of England and Wales.
Inevitably there are those who claim this is simply another tax on motorists. It is yet another revenue generating exercise aimed at the general public, another way of fleecing the hard-pressed, honest car driver.
As ever, such claims are as flimsy as they are predictable. The truth is that if motorists kept within the laws – whether that is speeding, not obeying road signs, or any other indiscretion – they won’t get fined. So drive courteously and safely and you won’t get “taxed”, simple really.
The real bone of contention has nothing to do with the stealth tax argument. It is far more basic.
You can criticise someone’s wife or husband, their family, their cooking, their dress sense and even their CD collection. But don’t even think about criticising their driving.
We all believe we are the best driver on the road – actually, I am – and that it is everyone else who is to blame. That is why when you pull out in front of the person negotiating an island without indicating, it isn’t their fault. Equally, it isn’t your fault that you are blocking traffic by sitting slap bang in the middle of a yellow box junction – besides, you’re in more of a hurry than the people you’re obstructing so you have every right to sit there rather than wait a few precious seconds until it is clear.
There is plenty of evidence to show that as a society we are reluctant to accept responsibility. Pointing the finger, apportioning blame, is much more the done thing these days.
Our car driving is a prime example. We are a nation of useless, inconsiderate, arrogant drivers and that is why such CCTV cameras are now being used in this way.
This trial run may even succeed. Not in raising a few extra quid off drivers, but by making them a little more considerate of other motorists and by reminding them of all the basic rules of the road they have chosen to forget.