Evolution or Devolution

This is Dalebrook Road on a good day. Nearly all the vehicles are parked on the road or in a drive. Just round the bend there was one which is habitually on the pavement but this time was properly on the road.

Dalebrook Road is just as wide or as narrow as ever it was, only the residents have changed by becoming sloppy, and the police have become corrupted. Vehicles are no wider but attitudes have become "I don't care", as indeed they have in so many areas. Nowadays the motorist sees only a wide open carriageway to scoot along. Dalebrook Road, as a consequence, is a rat run. It is used as a clear and fast link to Brooklands Road. Hardly any of the traffic has any business in Dalebrook Road and it puts all of us in peril.

It is so disappointing that well meaning people who have become motorists and yet are not mature enough to take on the responsibilities of being a motorist. In terms of parking their motors, some of them, against all science, remain convinced that the mere fact that their motor is stationery on a road means that it is doomed. In fear they cringe on the pavement hoping that passing traffic will pass by without a collision.

Sometimes it is because a prevailing mental condition disables their spatial awareness that they cannot work out how to make their motor mehave according to their wishes. In other cases it is because the motorist is wild and untutored; this means they just don't care. Once in a while it is because the motorist is too busy to think.

THere are good reasons why they should think and I shall ennumerate them here:

It is ironic that a habit, often designed to oblige other road users, is scientifically proved by government scientists to achieve the very opposite for other members of the community. Especially with newer drivers, the wide open road is an invitation to increase one's speed. The evidence is certain. Some traffic in recent years has exceeded 50mph. This is easily ascertained and 12 years ago I worrked it out with the aid of a video camera.

Hiding behind a tree and having made a note of two fixed points I videod traffic. The measurement between the points and the number of frames gave the speed with the simple equation d/t=s. A device as simple as a tape measure is enough to demonstrate how wide is the remaining carriageway against a car parked on the pavement.

Conclusively, I videod the traffic cruising between my car parked on the southern edge of the road and a lampost on the northern kerb. There was only the one gap for traffic to use. Some vehicles did not even dab their brakes as they approached. Dalebrook Road is plenty wide enough for any passing traffic, including the great big rubbish wagon which drives past properly parked cars at least once a week. But as I have said before, some irresponsible motorists just don't care.

Other factors support it. In 1975, no one parked on the pavement in Dalebrook Road along its length. Next door to us were Pam and Neville, a 1300 on the drive and a big Ford Zodiac always, always fully on the road. Next to them was Dick who did not drive. Next door to him were Jack and Dorothy with their car mostly in the garage but occasionally on the drive. After them was Eric and June with one estate car that was always on the drive. Next to them was Jean whose car was always in the garage. Next to them were Karen and Paul - one car in the drive and another parked very prooerly on the road. Next was Janet whose car was always on the drive but her partner's brand new Jaguar was properly on the road. If anyone should feel worried about passing traffic, it is him.

The salient fact to be drawn from this is that Dalebrook Road was designed and built to accommodate traffic parked on the road. Other roads need parking on the pavement but not Dalebrook Road.

I started off this article by stating that some motorists simply do not have the accumen to be responsible motorists but as long as other citizens are prepared to turn a blind eye for the sake of peace, the longer it will last. If some bad accident befalls an unwary pedestrian then we might wake up to those who behave with such gross irresponsibility.

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