I READ the report on the antics during the road accident debate at the recent council meeting with some disquiet.
Northampton standards of safe road provision are pre-World War Two. The collective wisdom of our councillors allied to ignorance of historical fact is miserable.
In 1934 Percy Shaw invented the cats-eye stud which adorned our roads for years, later supplemented with white lines to further aid the motorist. Then came more street lighting which extended to motorways. During the same period vehicle lighting improved. So finally there was a package of measures that gave the motorist, cyclist and pedestrian a reasonable chance of seeing and being seen at night and in bad weather.
Having driven down the dual carriageway from Dane’s Camp roundabout to Sixfields in a rain storm late on Friday night it seems pretty evident to me that without street lights or cats-eyes and with worn out white lines then we should not be too surprised that more accidents now occur. It was very difficult to see exactly where one was in relation to the edges of the road.
Just asking for the return of speed cameras on the one hand and in response stating that the recent crop of accidents have not occurred on roads that had previously had an active camera is missing the blindingly obvious. Why don’t these people have a proper debate about road safety with police accident investigators and get to the root causes?
The blackout of World War Two, even with much lower traffic volume than today, created carnage, it did not take the government long to order the immediate introduction of cats-eyes which even with minimal vehicle lighting allowed drivers to stay on the road.
So those in their wisdom who decided that street lighting should go without giving a thought to cats-eyes and white lines ought to have a rethink. We deserve better than this, get all the facts on road accidents into the public domain, have a debate and quickly implement the solutions which probably won’t include speed cameras.
Finally, why, oh why are incidents reported as accidents? There is no such thing as an accident, every incident has an assignable cause, why don’t the council admit it?
Belvedere Close, Northampton