20 Dec 2016

20th December 2016 Danish child neglect pandemic!


Tuesday 20th 37F, 3C, very heavy overcast, calm but dry. A chill, southerly wind was rising as I braved the hurrying traffic. A scruffy, black car went past at very high speed. Sounding, not so much sporty, as having a badly blown exhaust. The speed at which he took the first blind corner might have been all the more impressive. Had he not needed an extra 6' of the opposite lane which he did not own. Undaunted by his blatant idiocy he ploughed onto the next blind corner. With that urgency born of a burning, sociopathic ignorance of braking distances, cyclists or pedestrians. Or even family cars emerging from their hidden drives full of small children.

Unfortunately it will be decades before every manual car has been torn from the dying hands of idiots to be replaced with self-driving vehicles. A couple of compulsory braking distance sensors, controlling the accelerator, would go a long way. Provided, of course, it wasn't able to be easily bypassed. As was the habit of 'chipping' diesels for higher performance while away from the test centers.

A pair of buzzards were playing follow-my-leader as they crossed the road directly above me at less than 100 feet. Then,  just as I turned into the lane, I disturbed a larger bird of prey which had been foraging out on a field. It flew straight away from me with very long, high aspect ratio wings with bold, black, upper 'fingered' tips. Due to its stealth profile I could only guess at a mainly buff plumage. I'm going for my default Red kite identification but couldn't be certain without more detail. The Red Kite just doesn't look large enough when you see images of them online with human handlers. Meanwhile, the roadside hedges were busy with Blackbirds, Yellowhammers, Blue and Great tits.

Time for a ride: A cold headwind most of the way to the shops. Easier coming back despite being well laden. 17miles.

The Danish DR news website reports that between 1 in 5 and 6 children cycling to school in the dark have no lights and are wearing dark clothing. Head teachers held talks with the school pupils and warned parents in their newsletter, but nothing changed. How difficult can it be to arrange teachers or police to monitor one day's cycling arrivals per week without prior notice? Then prosecute and fine all the parents of children without lights for placing their children in danger. At least a £200 fine plus costs seems about right. Give the parents a court record for child neglect and see if that gets their attention.

Bright diode bicycle lights can be had for small change in many Danish supermarkets. High viz waistcoats are regularly sold by some supermarkets too. Often for a mere pittance. High visibility + reflective striped clothing could easily be made nationally compulsory for all cyclists riding after dark. But then we don't want to anything which would limit a child's basic human rights to become very messy road kill. But at least their siblings are guaranteed to have dark clothing for the funeral.


No comments:

Post a Comment