"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to look on and do nothing" *
The treatment of pedestrians in the UK is a scandal
Walking is inherently a safe mode of transport - it was how people evolved to travel, even large distances
and safe freedom of movement is a basic human right ...read more
So walking on streets and roads should be a safe activity.
But the way in which motor vehicles have been allowed on to streets, travelling at lethal speeds, with priority often given to them, has made walking dangerous and unpleasant. It's a scandal.
The pavement parking scandal
Parking on a pavement is illegal since it is illegal to drive on a footway - see here
But the laws have been poorly enforced, and the DfT changed the Highway Code for no good reason in 2007, causing much confusion and increasing the danger to pedestrians - see here
The DfT has ignored recommendations in the 2019 House of Commons Transport Committee report for an awareness campaign to educate drivers that pavement parking is illegal - see here
and the DfT started a consultation in August 2020 (ending November 2020) with an incorrect summary of the law - see here
It appears that the DfT hopes to legalise pavement parking for many classes of vehicles including delivery vehicles, while pretending that it is helping pedestrians.
The situation is not helped by the campaign of the Government-funded charity Living Streets "to ban pavement parking", implying that it is currently legal.
The action of the DfT is a scandal and decent people should not tolerate it.
Why are UK roads particularly dangerous for pedestrians?
There's much evidence of maladministration and neglect by those responsible for pedestrian safety - i.e. Government ministers, MPs, councillors, national and local government officials, police officers and others.
They are failing to safeguard children and other vulnerable people.
It shouldn't be necessary to campaign for pedestrian safety - it is not the pedestrians who create the danger on roads.
But pleas from pedestrians to tackle the danger from motor vehicles have been largely ignored for decades.
According to Nelson Mandela, it is the oppressor who defines the nature of a struggle. Little has come from merely asking for safer roads for pedestrians, so a more assertive approach is necessary.
* After John Stuart Mill (1867)