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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 17:23 
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Rigpig wrote:
Ziltro wrote:
Blind obedience is a very bad thing.


Why does this come up in replies about the law so often? Why is it assumed that people who obey the law are doing so in some lesser thinking way :?
Obeying a traffic light isn't about 'blind obedience', its about recognising the net benefit to society of obeying the law.

The law is just words written on a bit of paper by some control freak.

If the law was good, why is it different in different countries?

I did not vote for it. I did not get a say in it. I do not support it. I have never signed anything to say that I will obey it.

There is no net benefit to society to be had by sitting at a red traffic light when there is quite obviously nothing else stopping you from continuing. In fact there is more net benefit to society to continue, thus wasting less fuel and taking up less time on the road.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 17:40 
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Thatsnews wrote:
I saw someone do this. He carefully looked left, then carefully looked right... and ran smack into a car that had right of way! :o
Well, he obviously didn't look carefully enough!

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 17:49 
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Ziltro wrote:
I did not vote for it. I did not get a say in it. I do not support it. I have never signed anything to say that I will obey it.


Oh don't be ridiculous Ziltro. The law (ref traffic lights) was passed years ago, we don't get to have a re-vote on every law that was passed by previous administrations because it would be a beaurocratic nightmare. You don't for one second think that every law, every white paper, every government action has to have a mandate from 100% of the populace else it becomes invalid do you?
You passed a test to drive on the UKs roads and are bound by the laws that govern that activity.

And as for 'control freaks' :roll: Would you prefer it if no 'control freaks' passed any laws at all? Perhpas we should just repeal the lot, would that suit you better?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 17:52 
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At the moment we have no say. No control over these people who make the laws. They are supposed to be there to serve us, but they don't. This is wrong. We can't accept it as being right because it isn't.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 17:55 
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smeggy wrote:
Flip side:
It’s the arrogance of authorities and their propensity to do what the hell they like because nobody ever challenges their self-interested behaviour these days that creates disobedience.


These 'flip side' arguments don't always work, this is one such example. We all get the opportunity to challenge the behaviour of the authorities through the ballot box. The fact that too many people don't exercise that opportunity or use it unwisely is our own fault.

Ziltro wrote:
At the moment we have no say. No control over these people who make the laws. They are supposed to be there to serve us, but they don't. This is wrong. We can't accept it as being right because it isn't.


See above.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 18:06 
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Hmm... I don't see how voting for a political party can allow me to vote for a law.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 18:29 
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Rigpig wrote:
smeggy wrote:
Flip side:
It’s the arrogance of authorities and their propensity to do what the hell they like because nobody ever challenges their self-interested behaviour these days that creates disobedience.

These 'flip side' arguments don't always work, this is one such example. We all get the opportunity to challenge the behaviour of the authorities through the ballot box. The fact that too many people don't exercise that opportunity or use it unwisely is our own fault.

I don’t think that works (either?)
Yes we all get to vote, but only for an ideology that is liable to change at any time after the votes are tallied. To vote based on one issue alone would be unbalanced, especially if other councils/departments are making up for the shoddy behaviour.


The overall point was that of over-application of a law (not the law itself), or should that be over-imposition of a council department? The can do it, they do do it, and they get away with it. This leads to disrespect of the application (and the council which applied it). The real problem comes when the disrespect is carried over to instances where the respect is critical - the errant behaviour we are all seeing ever more of.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 19:07 
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smeggy wrote:
Rigpig wrote:
smeggy wrote:
Flip side:
It’s the arrogance of authorities and their propensity to do what the hell they like because nobody ever challenges their self-interested behaviour these days that creates disobedience.

These 'flip side' arguments don't always work, this is one such example. We all get the opportunity to challenge the behaviour of the authorities through the ballot box. The fact that too many people don't exercise that opportunity or use it unwisely is our own fault.

I don’t think that works (either?)
Yes we all get to vote, but only for an ideology that is liable to change at any time after the votes are tallied. To vote based on one issue alone would be unbalanced, especially if other councils/departments are making up for the shoddy behaviour.


We vote for a party on the basis of their manifesto which includes their over-arching policies at national and local level. Are changes to road infrastructure, e.g. the addition of new sets of traffic lights not subject to planning permission, a process to which you and I have the right to voice our objections? Isn't that part of the democratic process.

smeggy wrote:
The overall point was that of over-application of a law (not the law itself), or should that be over-imposition of a council department? The can do it, they do do it, and they get away with it. This leads to disrespect of the application (and the council which applied it). The real problem comes when the disrespect is carried over to instances where the respect is critical - the errant behaviour we are all seeing ever more of.


Disrespect of traffic lights, or other laws, doesn't stem from what the councils do, it stems from the way society is. Lack of respect is one of the major social sores of our time.
We can blame the government for this in one respect but putting up too many traffic lights isn't it.

As we are now each just saying the same thing in different ways I'll leave it at that.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 19:36 
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Rigpig wrote:
As we are now each just saying the same thing in different ways I'll leave the inevitable last word to you :wink:

Oh you really know me :D

Rigpig wrote:
We vote for a party on the basis of their manifesto which includes their over-arching policies at national and local level. Are changes to road infrastructure, e.g. the addition of new sets of traffic lights not subject to planning permission, a process to which you and I have the right to voice our objections? Isn't that part of the democratic process.

I never know they were going to add the unbelievably stupid pinch point south of Commercial Road (this is an accident waiting to happen)
I didn’t know the Holiday Inn roundabout was going to be replaced with a junction (you can see hints of the old roundabout), off peak wait time went from 0 to 3 minutes – I’ve even seen the aftermath of a serious accident there since the change.
I didn’t even know the roundabout nearly outside my door was going to be altered (cycle lanes) – twice.

Vogons, galactic hyperspace planning councils and hyperspace express routes come to mind!

Rigpig wrote:
Disrespect of traffic lights, or other laws, doesn't stem from what the councils do, it stems from the way society is.

It is both; some are pushed, others just do. Poor policy pushes, they in turn further encourage those who do. Such poor policies are greatly amplifing the problem.

Rigpig wrote:
... but putting up too many traffic lights isn't it

Not sure what you're saying here.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 19:42 
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Council adds 2 seconds of all red time. People start ignoring the red lights for 2 seconds. Council adds another 2 seconds, people start ignoring red lights for 4 seconds...
They do cause the problem.

And as pointed out, I have never had notice of any of the council's proposed restrictions. And as a resident but not householder I didn't get to vote on their residents parking restrictions in our road, where they assumed that everyone who didn't vote wanted it.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 21:48 
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smeggy wrote:
It’s the arrogance of authorities and their propensity to do what the hell they like because nobody ever challenges their self-interested behaviour these days that creates disobedience.

Nicely put sir. Now for one of my essays. :readit:

In my mind, traffic lights should only be put in, and only be operational, where and when it is not otherwise possible for all legal movements to be completed safely and reasonably quickly. They were only invented in the first place to improve safety and traffic flow.

Nowadays, it is glaringly obvious that many councils are abusing traffic signals to impede traffic flow, by putting them at junctions where any half-decent driver could tell they were not required, and operating them 24 hours. It would be better if they were vehicle-actuated, but they are frequently given fixed phasing instead, and bad phasing at that. It's quite deliberate, and apart from anything else, it shows how little the authorities really care about "the environment" because it makes traffic start and stop unnecessarily.

The only reason that going through a red light is an endorsable offence is because it's supposed to be a safety violation. But if someone jumps a clearly unnecessary set of traffic lights which didn't use to be there, from a side road, when there's little or no traffic, while performing the same checks that they would have done before the lights and being extra-vigilant for pedestrians, then that's not unsafe, that's just defying the council's wish to constrict traffic flow. Even if you think "the law" is sacred, "the law" said their judgment was OK before, and nothing's really changed. Besides, this idea that motorists can't judge for themselves is nonsense perpetuated by anti-car nutters; judgment is an essential part of driving and should be encouraged, applauded and developed as far as possible. Some junctions are too complicated or busy for human judgment; most are not.

It's well-established that if you cry wolf, be it with traffic lights, speed limits or yellow lines, you will devalue the restrictions that should be there, and people will start to defy the restrictions more. It's no good bleating that it shouldn't happen: it will happen, and we have to deal with things as they are rather than things as some people think they should be. The response to crying wolf is human nature: it always has been (hence the "crying wolf" fable, which has self-evidently been around for a few years) and it always will be, and I don't think it's a bad thing.

I would be much more worried if people just took all this crap (even more than they did already) and obeyed all regulations equally without questioning them. I normally hesitate to invoke it but that does remind me of the Third Reich. Having said that, if someone wants to obey all traffic signals, speed limits and yellow lines, no matter how ridiculous, then that's entirely up to them, it's their absolute right and I don't think any less of them (as long as they don't try to police people, in which case I think a lot less of them, because they're interfering scum). I just don't think it's unhealthy that others are not always so keen to do so when it's quite obvious (to a reasonable driver, whose judgment as I say should be trusted) that no harm will come from not doing it.

Rigpig is right in that there has been a decline of respect and morality in this country, but that is a separate issue, and is perpetrated by different types of people. When otherwise decent, "normal" drivers who are not part of the respect problem (and indeed are getting fed up with it) are being tempted to disobey traffic signals, speed limits and yellow lines because of overuse, that's very worrying, and the blame quite clearly lies with the authorities rather than the motorists.

People in general haven't changed that much, the authorities are just taking the piss more and more, and for no-one's benefit but their own. Rigpig should be as outraged as the rest of us that those who are supposed to be serving all of us (including him) are instead taking advantage of us. It's a waste of everyone's time and money, it's a cause of frustration and ultimately possible road rage, and it's really about time that it stopped.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 22:31 
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bombus wrote:
People in general haven't changed that much,


Yes they have mate. The attitudes and behaviour of people today are in no way comparable with those of people 30 or even 20 years ago.

bombus wrote:
Rigpig should be as outraged as the rest of us that those who are supposed to be serving all of us (including him) are instead taking advantage of us.


Should I? Its nice to know what I should think. Maybe I just have a better developed sense of proportion and perspective than, er, the rest of you :wink: . Yeah I don't like many aspects of the way the current administration goes about its business, but disrespecting road traffic law because the local council stick up a few extra sets of traffic lights? Nah. Far worse things happen at sea as they say.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 22:43 
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Rigpig wrote:
bombus wrote:
People in general haven't changed that much,


Yes they have mate. The attitudes and behaviour of people today are in no way comparable with those of people 30 or even 20 years ago.

I certainly agree with that. But it begs the question, why?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 22:51 
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BottyBurp wrote:
Rigpig wrote:
bombus wrote:
People in general haven't changed that much,


Yes they have mate. The attitudes and behaviour of people today are in no way comparable with those of people 30 or even 20 years ago.

I certainly agree with that. But it begs the question, why?


Social engineering on a national scale.
Changes to the education system; increasing tendency to refuse to tell individuals when they are in the wrong for fear of appearing dictatorial.
Changes in the aspirations and financial status of individuals.
Emphasis on the rights of the individual, ergo more selfishness and less altruism.
More aggressive marketing by the commercial sector making us more avaricious and materialistic
Drawing back of old taboos, less personally imposed restrictions on behaviour


Last edited by Rigpig on Thu Dec 27, 2007 22:53, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 22:51 
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BottyBurp wrote:
Thatsnews wrote:
I saw someone do this. He carefully looked left, then carefully looked right... and ran smack into a car that had right of way! :o
Well, he obviously didn't look carefully enough!


Indeed. I agree with you. Trouble is, he clearly thought he was.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 22:58 
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Rigpig wrote:
BottyBurp wrote:
Rigpig wrote:
bombus wrote:
People in general haven't changed that much,


Yes they have mate. The attitudes and behaviour of people today are in no way comparable with those of people 30 or even 20 years ago.

I certainly agree with that. But it begs the question, why?


Social engineering on a national scale.
Changes to the education system; increasing tendency to refuse to tell individuals when they are in the wrong for fear of appearing dictatorial.
Changes in the aspirations and financial status of individuals.
Emphasis on the rights of the individual, ergo more selfishness and less altruism.
More aggressive marketing by the commercial sector making us more avaricious and materialistic
Drawing back of old taboos, less personally imposed restrictions on behaviour

Again, I can agree with a lot of that, but interestingly, you don't mention Govt or LA petty rules...

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 23:09 
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BottyBurp wrote:
Rigpig wrote:
BottyBurp wrote:
Rigpig wrote:
bombus wrote:
People in general haven't changed that much,


Yes they have mate. The attitudes and behaviour of people today are in no way comparable with those of people 30 or even 20 years ago.

I certainly agree with that. But it begs the question, why?


Social engineering on a national scale.
Changes to the education system; increasing tendency to refuse to tell individuals when they are in the wrong for fear of appearing dictatorial.
Changes in the aspirations and financial status of individuals.
Emphasis on the rights of the individual, ergo more selfishness and less altruism.
More aggressive marketing by the commercial sector making us more avaricious and materialistic
Drawing back of old taboos, less personally imposed restrictions on behaviour

Again, I can agree with a lot of that, but interestingly, you don't mention Govt or LA petty rules...


Because I happen to believe that the petty rules have appeared as a result of the way people behave; the littering rules are a good example. If people had more respect and didn't drop litter in the first place the associated rules (and fines) wouldn't be needed.
We reap what we sow BB. We have a society in which we are free to do pretty much as we please but unfortunately too many of us abuse that freedom and make the place a less desirable place in which to live for the rest of us.
Now, if we could just strike a balance......


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:11 
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Rigpig wrote:
Because I happen to believe that the petty rules have appeared as a result of the way people behave ...

If people's behaviour and mindset have changed over the past 30 years then the behaviour of council officials has also changed (as they are - probably - people like the rest of us). It seems to me that the blind enforcement of petty rules instead of using a bit of commonsense and discretion is the major change that has happened. I think this is due to the inappropriate importation of a target driven culture (from management consultants) into what should be a public service culture.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:17 
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Rigpig wrote:
Because I happen to believe that the petty rules have appeared as a result of the way people behave; the littering rules are a good example.

As usual, you talk a lot of sense. I think I can agree with what you're saying, but I still can't help feeling that whilst that may have been the case, Govt & LA have disproportionately carried on the petty rule making and people have lost respect for them.

I also think that possibly both you & I yearn for the manners of yesteryear. Just out of interest, how old are you, RP?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 12:54 
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I can't help but think this 'lets blame it on the councils' thing is a pudding that is being well and truly over-egged.

malcolmw wrote:
It seems to me that the blind enforcement of petty rules instead of using a bit of commonsense and discretion is the major change that has happened.


What 'petty' rules are blindly enforced to the detriment of someone who doesn't deserve to have that rule enforced against them then Malcolm?
PS: I suspect we may find we disagree on what constitutes 'petty'.

I think most people can see then need for parking restrictions when they are trying to make their way through a town that is choked and constricted with cars parked at the roadside, but hate them when they 'just want to nip somewhere for 5 minutes'. Then they want 'common sense' to apply but so of course do all the other motorists who want to use that same spot to just nip somewhere for 5 minutes. End result = no parking restrictions at all. If you don't mind town centre businesses not being able to receive their deliveries promptly, or having your journey through that town made unecessarily longer due to weaving between parked cars then fine. But we, as usual, want it both ways don't we?


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