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I have to admit that a smile crosses my face when I see examples of real “people power” rather than hearing the word being over-used by irritating and supercilious politicians.
Whilst police have been forced to abandon the streets and motorways due to budget cuts, being replaced by the ubiquitous speed cameras that do everything to record infractions but nothing to prevent them, an independent roads policing team seems to have emerged from the chaos. It may be slightly illegal and it may raise the blood pressure of certain self-important individuals, who believe that the roads are their personal playground, but it really is an example of Common Law-making in action.
We’ve all been there. You see the sign warning you that a lane will be closing a mile ahead. As you get closer to the intractable lines of orange cones, most drivers start to move into the correct lane and speeds begin to drop as traffic is bottlenecked into this extreme example of health and safety. Traffic is flowing reasonable well.
Then, in your rear view mirror, you see them, the cars that cruise down the clear lane to get as near to the front of the queue as possible. You watch, or become a victim of, their bullying as they force their way into a gap. All the way down the line, a ripple effect occurs as brakes are tapped and the traffic jam is created. The finest brains in traffic control cannot overcome the selfish and ignorant.
It’s then that you see the effect real “people power”. An HGV will move into the empty lane and roll along at the speed of the slower traffic creating an unofficial rolling road block. Ahead of them, undisturbed traffic steadily moves through the obstruction whilst behind them, a frustrated executive accepts the inevitable and joins the traffic flow, without normal pressurisation. When its job is done, the lorry moves back into position whilst, further back, another couple of lorries continue with a separate rolling road-block. The traffic flows and hold-ups are minimised.
There is no legislation supporting this action but is an example how law-making has been carried in this country for centuries. It is supported by the majority and has gradually become acceptable practice. No European legislation has had to be written. It is just simple common sense and community spirit. It’s terribly British.
Those juggernauts that thunder along our highways throughout the days and nights should be seen as the new knights of the road, defending us against the hold-ups created by modern Dick Turpins, and their commitment to safety on the road should be recognised and respected.
The author is Michael Poynton.
- The Freedom Association’s Magna Carta Pimms and Politics Cruise on June 15, 2013 12:30 pm
- Conservative Renewal Conference on September 14, 2013
- The Freedom Zone on September 30, 2013
- The Freedom Zone on October 1, 2013
- Christmas Lunch in the Cotswolds on December 7, 2013 12:30 pm
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