From: Peter Haddington, Prospect Place, Bradford.
HOW disgusted I was to hear about the elderly lady who has had her life ruined after being hit by a car while crossing the road because the driver was not driving with due care and attention.
This lady has suffered several broken bones, including a fractured skull, and is now struggling to do day to day tasks. I was even more appalled at the derisory punishment given to the driver at Bradford Crown Court of £246 and five penalty points. What sort of a message does this send out to anyone not concentrating behind the wheel of a car? Where is the deterrent for bad driving when meagre sentences like this are handed out and an elderly lady’s life is in ruins?
Correct driving is a skill and the two things that are sadly lacking today by some drivers are patience and care. Although there are very many good drivers on Britain’s roads, there are some who are not so good.
For years the authorities have been barking up the wrong tree by trying to make driving tests more stringent. The problems on the roads doesn’t lie with learner drivers being better trained, the problems lie with cars having too much power and drivers who have no regard for the rules of the road.
People who use mobile phones when they’re driving know that there is only a minuscule chance of them being caught so it is worth taking the risk.
Cars are getting bigger and more powerful all the time – wouldn’t it have made more sense to make cars that don’t do such excessive speeds rather than having to rely on traffic calming measures like speed bumps that do little other than damage cars?
As long as cars are being made to go to excessive speeds, there will always be people who will abuse that power. It is like giving sweets to a child and saying you can look at these sweets but you mustn’t eat them.
Until this is tackled, together with much stiffer sentences for bad driving, there will always be problems on Britain’s roads.
VAT could pay for social care
From: Paul Waide, Sicklinghall Road, Wetherby.
THE Saturday Essay by Mike Padgham (The Yorkshire Post, June 8) is very thought-provoking and should awaken us all. I have a possible solution.
Whether or not the EU would allow us to raise VAT by one per cent should we remain members of it, the Government could simply say there is a new arrangement – 20 per cent VAT plus one penny because we all care. Absolutely nobody would escape contributing but the wealthiest would contribute more because they have more to spend on items attracting VAT.
There are millions of us who pay no income tax and no NI contributions, but absolutely nobody would escape this arrangement and, because we all care as to what happens when we are too old and frail to look after ourselves, I think that it would be widely accepted. Government, get on with it and stop procrastinating.
Risks of policy over climate
From: Chris Broome, Sheffield Climate Alliance.
AT Sheffield Climate Alliance, we give a partial welcome to Theresa May’s announcement on climate change (The Yorkshire Post, June 13). One aim of announcing the new target, to be achieved by 2050, is clearly to show intent and convince other industrialised countries to follow suit. In this, it may well succeed.
On the other hand, the lack of more urgent action shows that the Government still does not recognise that we have a climate emergency. Existing medium term climate targets, in the form of “carbon budgets”, run until 2032 and these have not even been touched.
The Government requested advice from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) on how to achieve the new zero-carbon target without changing them.
Thus the CCC has recommended heavily investing in highly speculative technologies. These could potentially reduce emissions rapidly but only if they can be developed successfully – a high- risk strategy.
Both the Government and its advisers, the CCC, need to be much more honest with the public. We can take action now that will reliably reduce emissions, such as travelling less and by more sustainable means and being more resource efficient.
We should emphasise that there is plenty of research on how this can be done, while allowing society to prosper.
Alternatively, we can become increasingly reliant on speculative future techno-fixes that leave us facing climate catastrophe if they fail.
BBC ought to tighten belt
From: E Green, Albert Street, Swinton, Mexborough.
ONCE again this Government has gone back on a promise by handing the over-75s free television licence back to the BBC.
The BBC then say by cutting staff wages it would not make any difference to the funding.
One thing certainly would – cutting staff.
Why do they have to have separate commentators for television and radio? For sporting events, look at the cost of all the pundits.
In my opinion, the BBC use our money as a pension top-up fund.
Steel and iron
From: S Hardy, Cottenham Road, Rotherham.
MICHAEL Meredith (The Yorkshire Post, June 14) blames the EU since UK joined in 1973 for the loss of steel manufacturing jobs.
I suppose it had nothing at all to do with May 1979 when Margaret Thatcher was elected.