This month: Kindness and slowness
This letter is about kindness.
First, there was my friend Les from Methwold. He used to come and pick me up at my house when I lived in Wretton Road, Stoke Ferry and take me over to his social club at Methwold, let me spend the evening with him playing snooker with his friends, then bring me home again.
My next friends are Dawn and Peter and Trish and Mrs Eileen Russell who kindly helped me move to my new house in Fairfield Road.
Then there is Mrs Eileen and Philip Russell for having me in their home for Philip to teach me computer skills.
My next friends are Justine and Alan who have just moved up to Corby; they used to take me out for a meal.
And then there's Chrissy and Margaret who helped me cope with the loss of my dear late Mum.
My next friend is Mrs June Stocking for kindly getting my prescription.
And finally, Elizabeth and Lennie for both being understanding and kind to me.
To all of them I would like to say thank you for caring; it does help though you may think I do not appreciate you all, but I do.
With reference to Ron Watts' soapbox article last month, I agree totally that it is idiotic to warn motorists of speed cameras' whereabouts. My favourite example is the A505 Royston to Baldock road where there are many cameras. Motorists ensure that they go through at 70 mph then accelerate up to 85 - 90 mph and more before slowing down to go through the next well-publicised camera. How is this helping to maintain speed limits?
I would like to qualify one other thing that Ron has to say. Excessive speed is only a major factor contributory to death and serious injuries when it is allied to bad driving. If you drive on a motorway, for example, you will see anything up to 70% or 80% of the cars exceeding the limit, but in most cases being driven safely. In Germany, you will be regularly overtaken at 100 mph plus on the autobahns, but once again, in the majority of cases, quite safely.
Norfolk people will not like me for saying this but since moving here five years ago I have experienced some of the worst examples of driving that I have ever come across. Blind overtaking is quite regular and tail-gating is a nasty little habit that many people seem to have acquired. And excessively speeding in totally unsuitable conditions seems to be the norm. A lot of it has no doubt to do with the fact that Norfolk roads allow the motorist more opportunity for misbehaving - the density of traffic and consequent slowness in the Thames valley whence I came does not allow the liberties that the Norfolk motorist enjoys. I certainly have felt more intimidated driving around our county.
Let us hope that the powers-that-be get together and produce an intelligent policy on camera placements. Their priority should be to locate them in high-sccident risk areas, demonstrating that they really do intend to cut down the number of accidents, and not pursue a policy based on accruing revenue for the government.