Equality on streets

Whenever I’m on the receiving end of road rage, eg, when I’m on foot and a driver honks at me for crossing the road and asserting what I feel is my equal right to the road space, I’m dismayed at the driver’s behaviour.

But when you think about it, the driver is a fellow victim: of a traffic control system which sets the stage for conflict.

It all goes back to the dysfunctional rule of priority. Priority subverts common law values of equal rights and responsibilities.

Jumping a cashpoint queue is unthinkable, yet on the road we accept such delinquent behaviour without question.

Priority licenses main road traffic to neglect other road users and plough on regardless of who was there first.

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Most damningly, it puts the onus on children to beware of motorists when it could and should be the other way round.

Priority is an antisocial law, so it’s hardly surprising it produces antisocial behaviour.

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If, instead of living and dying by priority, we lived by equality and took it more or less in turns, we would rediscover our humanity. Peaceful coexistence would break out.

Instead of ‘Get out of my way!’ it would be ‘After you’. Roads would be intrinsically safe. There would be no ‘need’ for intrusive, expensive traffic regulation.

And no, we wouldn’t need traffic lights. For more on this, see www.equalitystreets.com.

Martin Cassini


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