YP Letters: Deter drivers before they kill, not after

Drink and drug drivers face stiffer sentences under a shake-up announced by Justince Minister Dominic Raab.

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

CONGRATULATIONS to Johnston Press and to all campaigners over criminal killer drivers; at long last, action by Westminster (The Yorkshire Post, October 16).

But why must we wait until this wilfully dangerous, self-obsessed minority kill? Drunk driving carries a mandatory ban; but using a mobile phone and gross speeding, nothing more than the derisory penalty of a fine and a few points.

How many might have been spared their loss and anguish if tougher action had been taken sooner? A few years back, you reported the case of a Batley woman who overtook on a solid white line, killing one oncoming driver and seriously injuring another. She killed the day after her fourth speeding conviction – having left court with her licence still intact. I wonder what those magistrates thought?

The difference between murder and manslaughter is lack of intent. Killer drivers don’t have the intent, but they are no less deadly for that. Why do we continue to treat even the worst of them tenderly with the mealy-mouthed ‘causing death’?

From: Mr SB Oliver, Churchill Grove, Heckmondwike.

MOTORISTS will have been shaking their heads, and probably laughing, when reading that a new high-tech crossing has been revealed.

It has LED lights which light up when cameras detect the movement of pedestrians. The item read: “This means a thick red line lights up across the road when someone walks out unexpectedly.”

I am most interested to know about the technology that is able to decide when the pedestrian is doing it “unexpectedly”.

The question I ask is “unexpectedly for whom?” Is it for the pedestrian, or the camera, or the approaching motorists?

Presumably this new-fangled crossing will also have some form of traffic lights (which any pedestrian will now be even more entitled to ignore).

This is just another defensive weapon for the pedestrians who can’t take their eyes off their little phone, even when it is dark.

Failings of rail privatisation

From: David Quarrie, Lynden Way, Holgate, York.

ON the whole, the English travelling public on the UK trains have to put up with a far from good service. The faults lie in many places.

Unlike in Germany, Austria, France and the Netherlands, who had their rail network almost totally wrecked during the Second World War and could start again from scratch in 1946, we have had to cope with an essentially Victorian-built network, hence the slow trains and overcrowding.

As regards driver-only trains, this is a genuine safety matter, not just a question of who closes the carriage doors.

It is just not true to say that our railways are run primarily for the benefit of paying passengers.

Too many trains are too short, overcrowded, run late, are suddenly cancelled, offer no refreshments, have out of order toilets, lack information when things go wrong and station announcements that no one can hear. Privatising the railways has not been a success. There is room for much improvment.

Diabolical is the word

From: Mrs M Shaw, Penistone Road, Kirkburton, Huddersfield.

YOUR critic, Liz Coggins, was perhaps a little generous in giving the Bradford Alhambra’s production of Grease two out of five, otherwise she was spot on!

I went on October 13 with a friend. As the lights came up for the interval we both turned, looked at each other, and almost in unison said “let’s go home”.

The show was diabolical – lead singers with weak, out of tune voices and no stage presence, dialogue in dreadful American accents so you couldn’t tell what they were saying, bad acting, wooden movement and poor choreography. We had paid a lot of money for the front row of the dress circle.

There are several good amateur operatic societies in this area and any one of them could have done a better job.

Under fire over name

From: Elisabeth Baker, Leeds.

JAMES Robson (The Yorkshire Post, October 16) is mistaken when he castigates those who, in the news, refer to the company Bombardier with the French pronunciation.

The aircraft manufacturer is French Canadian, based in Montreal, hence the correct pronunciation of its name, 
which is that of its founder, is in French.

It is incorrect to pronounce it as if it were the (English) military rank, even if “the venerable (according to Mr Robson) Jon Snow” does so.

I know that we do not pronounce Paris “Paree”, but this is an international company whose various bases adhere to the French version.

I am sorry that Mr Robson suffers when he hears the company’s name spoken by most newsreaders, but I am afraid that he will have to get used to it!

Minor error over Major

From: EK Barker, Collingham.

WITH reference to your article about the new Major William Booth Cricket Pavilion at Fulneck School in Pudsey (The Yorkshire Post, October 16) – a couple of corrections.

Major William were, in fact, 
his Christian names. He was 
not a Major in the First World War but did serve as a 2nd Lieutenant in the West Yorkshire Regiment.

He was killed on July 1, 1916, 
at the Somme near La Cigny and is buried in Serre Military Cemetery Number 1.

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