We need a ‘cure’ for road deaths
On August 17 1896, Bridget Driscoll, aged 44, was crossing the grounds of the Crystal Palace, London, with her daughter and a friend.
She was struck by an automobile travelling at “a reckless pace”. With this, came the unenviable title of ‘The first pedestrian to be killed by a car’.
The car’s maximum speed was only 8mph and, even though an Act of Parliament had increased the ‘national limit’ to 14mph just weeks earlier, the car had been limited deliberately to 4mph. Previously, the maximum in towns had been 2mph and in the countryside, 4mph.
The inquest heard the car was incapable of exceeding 4.5mph. A verdict of “accidental death” was recorded, followed by the coroner saying he hoped “such a thing would never happen again”.
How many times must that coroner have turned in his grave?
Enough of the past, what of the present, and indeed the future? Student Jack Martindale, whose skull was shattered by a hit-and-run driver, who also killed two of his friends, has launched a damages claim against him.
With well over 300,000 road deaths, since 1896, why haven’t we found a ‘cure’? Isn’t road death just another form of cancer?
At least victims of the Big C have time to say goodbye. Indeed, many don’t have to say goodbye, they get cured.
Maybe the ‘cure’ for killer drivers isn’t potent enough. Or maybe our speed limits are too high? Compared to 1896, they are sky-high.
Alongside cars back then, don’t today’s have the speed of a rocket? Also, the new born drivers had an excuse for killing – naivety! What excuse have today’s got?
With space-age technology serving to improve the lives of humankind, not least in health care, if indeed not guarantee its survival, why are cars allowed to be driven at ‘killer’’ speeds on public roads?
Jack Martindale has said of his friend’s ‘hit-and-run’ killer: “I don’t think he’s human enough to feel”.
Might we say that about the Government? Or would that be treason?
Route changes may just be start
What on earth is Preston Bus playing at?
Recent changes to some timetables have resulted in a reduction of the benefits of the ‘NoW Card’.
I refer, in particular, to the 88C and 31A service from Preston bus station to Ashton and Lea.
These services, along with many other routes, have traditionally had a ‘last bus’ at 23.00; in line with weekday use of the NoW Card between 09.30 and 23.00.
Why then has Preston Bus re-scheduled these two routes to depart Preston at 23.05, thus making the use of the NoW Card invalid?
I have written to the operations manager at Preston Bus to try and understand the logic for these changes.
The reply suggested I should take the 22.00 or 22.30 bus and went on to “apologise for the inconvenience we have caused ...”
I am sure there must be many other NoW Card users who are as perplexed as myself but I remain convinced that the timetable changes are related to funding of the service and a means to increase revenue.
The letter from Preston Bus concluded: “If at some future date we decide and are able to revert back to 23.00 departures, we will do so.”
Perhaps if more customers complained to the operations manager at Preston Bus we might get a more positive response. Who knows, maybe these two route changes are the first of many!
On a final note, I should add that all the bus drivers I have encountered have been sympathetic but are obliged by the rules (and the ticket machines) to charge full fare.
(Full name and address supplied)
Tough sentences for gun offences
Regarding the man who admitted stashing a sawn off shotgun (LEP, October 24). There should be a minimum of five years for possession of the shotgun without a shotgun certificate.
A further year for not securing it properly.
Followed by an additional two years for it being sawn off.
Preston Pikey, via LEP website