From a Correspondent
The Minister of Transport informs us that the total number of victims of road usage for the year to date is 4,700 killed and 164,000 injured—one casualty every three minutes. Ile informs us that ;masures propounded by the government have not yet had time to achieve their full effect, but are already making an impression. During the 28 weeks in which the speed limit has been in operation the number of persons killed in towns, where generally speaking it is in force, has fallen by 22 per cent., or more t force. Theas much as the percentage in county areas, where it is generally not in The government's very drastic road policy involves an increase in the number and an improvement in the lay-out of public highways, particularly with a view to preventing ribbon development, which, as Lord Lothian pointed out in an interview with the Catholic Herald in May, is an important contributory cause of road accidents. Wider carriageways and special tracks for cyclists are planned.
The injustice of the present system lies in the essential illogicality of compelling two mutually inconsistent forms of traffic to use the same highway.
" Safety First " Campaign This is apparent in the " Safety First" campaign, which attempts to solve the problem by educating people to an attitude of self-defence on the highways.
On the other hand, the motorist also has his rights, and it is scarcely fair that he should be exposed to the danger of
It seems that, if a permanent solution is to be reached, we must apply the railway principle to the roads. The petrol vehicle, like the locomotive, should have been confined to special tracks, and our hope lies in the simple, though, admittedly, costly expedient of separate motorways, closed to pedestrians, such as are to be found in parts of the Continent.
Onus on Motorists The suggested motorways would be designed for unrestricted speed, entered and left through toll-gates, and used by all long-distance traffic, motor-coaches and commercial vehicles.
On the ordinary public highways only local traffic, under severe speed restrictions, would be allowed, and the onus of avoiding accidents would lie, primarily, with the motorist. It is not suggested that traffic casualties would not still be inevitable on public highways, particularly in towns, but motorways would tend to their reduction. Ways have been suggested, moreover, involving traffic subways beneath built-up areas, by which the motorway principle might be extended to the towns.
£40,000 a Mile Hundreds of miles of these motorways have already been constructed in Italy. Pedestrian casualties are, of course, unknown on the autostrade, and vehicular accidents are very rare.
In Germany it is proposed to build 4,000 miles of such roads, at something over 00,000 a mile. In England it has hen