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Letter: Roads to hell

Sir: Duff Hart-Davis's picture of rural roads as hellish deathtraps (Country Matters, 9 January) reflects the broader problem of our failure to control vehicle speeds in country and town. This puts vulnerable road users such as cyclists and child and elderly pedestrians in grave danger. The problem is three-fold.

First, the widespread attitude of car drivers and road engineers that being cocooned in two tonnes of metal gives drivers absolute rights to the road superior to vulnerable users.

Second, the failure to enforce speed limits, which means 60 per cent of drivers speed at some point on every trip. These speeding offences almost always mean driving at 40mph or more, the speed at which 90 per cent of pedestrians hit are killed.

Third, ludicrously low sentences for drivers who kill, compared to other countries. A recent analysis by our organisation showed average sentences of less than 12 months per pedestrian/cyclist death caused by driver error.


Chair, Edinburgh Pedestrian Action Group