Drivers, will you remember Louis Thorold?

Recently driving on a narrow strip of road in Sussex, England, we noticed that someone had vandalised the 40mph road safety signs. To what sort of person is a little road safety so objectionable that they must spend their time doing that, when there are so many important things in the world? Perhaps Louis Thorold could have answered, had he lived. But he was killed at the age of five months in a motor accident [1]

Libby Brooks has the full story here in the Guardian. We’ll let you read it for yourselves, together with the work of the Louis Thorold Foundation, which his parents have set up in its memory [2] It aims to campaign for every measure which might reduce roadside mortality. That there might never be another case like Louis’. Good luck with that one. For they are up against the Cult of the Car which Libby describes as

the legacy of a car-is-king culture promoted since the 1960s by manufacturers, road designers and motorists’ organisations. 

who have of course used their power to object to every rational measure of road safety introduced ever since. Older British readers will recall the furore they caused when a sensible minister called Barbara Castle introduced a few restrictions on drunken driving in 1967. Followed by the outrage at the introduction of 70mph speed limits on our motorways. More recently there were digs at speed cameras from bloated loudmouths using their bully pulpits in press and TV to try to suggest that the little boxes did not cut road accidents. They do [3].

Strange to say in the light of the foregoing, we like cars at LSS. We love the style and ingenuity of their designs. Some of them. The freedom they give to discover the world. The way a motoring culture binds so many into a democratic network of “wayfarers all” where everyone on the motorway or at a service area is a common man, or woman however fleetingly. We hope and believe that clever engineers and scientists will quite soon find ways to reduce the ecological impact of these flawed but still wondrous devices. What we object to is the way that lives can be ruined because some confuse an obsession for haste with a love of liberty. Please readers can you donate to the memory of Louis?

[1]https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/12/baby-killed-car-parents-road-deaths-louis-thorold-foundation

[2]https://www.louisthorold.com/

[3]https://www.axa.ie/articles/driving/do-speed-cameras-reduce-serious-road-accidents/

#louis thorold #road safety #speed cameras #cars #transport #barbara castle #drink driving

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