Take a walker’s view to slow the driving down

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Here’s a mad idea to curb the speed of cars on our roads; make every driver sign up for a five-mile walk in the country. And throw in a stroll through a heavily trafficked urban area just for good measure.

Because you’ve no idea how fast you’re going in a car until you’re a pedestrian nearly blown off course by the next Lewis Hamilton.

You think, as a driver, that you’re just tipping along – until you’re the pedestrian on the grass margin picking yourself out of the ditch.

It won’t solve the problem overnight, but it might give everyone a better perspective – because there are times when you’re walking along the margins, and the G-force from speeding cars could make you lose your balance.

Hand on heart, if I’m not the one walking, I could well be the one inadvertently causing the pedestrians to dive for cover.

The fact is that we don’t know how fast we’re going when we’re behind the wheel, because we’re cocooned in our cars.

Of course we know the speed we’re driving at because it says it on the speedometer; it’s more that we don’t appreciate the impact this has because we’re not walking or cycling in close proximity.

There are times that a car shooting past can almost take your breath away – and if you had more hair than some of us, it would be blown into a shape that would leave you looking like a bewildered Don King.

If we took a walk instead of a drive, we’d also learn an appreciation of what it’s like to get drenched by a car hitting a big puddle – something that doesn’t have to carry quite the same big, arced splash if it’s not hit at speed.

But mainly what it would do is to show you what a fast car looks like from a different perspective; these are not even cars necessarily breaking the speed limit – it’s just to illustrate the difference between something travelling at 100 kilometres and three kilometres an hour.


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