Free to Move
22-year-old student, Dorothy Elder, met a terrible end on 11 November 2009 at the junction of Southampton Row and Holborn. Bus driver, Leola Burte, is facing a charge of dangerous driving. The bus was stationary at red when Dorothy cycled up the inside. As the lights changed and they moved off, Dorothy was dragged under the bus. Speed wasn’t a factor. The prosecution alleges the driver was incompetent for failing to see the cyclist and take appropriate action. My comment? When will we see representatives of the traffic control system in the dock? Never is the finger pointed at the information overload assailing a driver, especially at such a busy and visually confusing junction. If lights weren’t demanding attention and taking eyes off the road, and if, instead, road-users were able to filter sociably in turn, it’s highly likely that the driver’s brain would have been fully focused on fellow road-users and the needs of the moment. The role of traffic controls in messing with our minds and causing "accidents" has never been studied. Who will fund a study? How many other road-users must die on the altar of this violent, priority-based, blame-is-the-name-of-the-game traffic control system?
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