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Drivers are responsible for the safety of others

13 July, 2017

• MICHAEL Middleton (This was an accident, July 6) writes that it’s bizarre that one can ride on the road, with the “deadly masses of metal” and not have any idea what the rules/laws are – and all without a helmet.

It is not “bizarre” at all. The public highway has been open to everyone for centuries. There is no part of it we may not walk on, only (since 1835) parts we may not drive or cycle on.

When Mr Middleton and I drive our cars we do so under licence, with a requirement that we know and obey the rules and laws. We must drive according to the actual conditions, and can have no expectation that visitors on phones, mums on bikes, or children on their way to school know or will follow the Highway Code.

Learner drivers in Germany – not here – are repeatedly reminded they are operating dangerous machinery in a public space.

When we drive, we are responsible for the safety of the people whose space we are licensed to share. Sometimes this means driving at under the legal maximum speed.

That Mr Middleton finds any of this “bizarre” testifies to the lethal indulgence granted all of us who drive in Britain. It can’t end too soon.

South Hill Park, NW3


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