Not all cuts spell pain. The traffic control industry is ripe for reform that could bring massive savings as well as a transformation in road safety, congestion and quality of life. The industry is assumed to promote our well-being, but it operates to our detriment. With journey times at an all-time high, and 30,000 killed or hurt on our roads every year, the system is plainly unfit.
Most traffic control is a vain attempt to cure the symptoms of our problems on the road. Why do we have traffic lights? To break the priority streams of traffic so others can cross. Remove the cause of dangerous conflict – priority – and you remove the “need” for lights, and the need for speed, enabling everyone to do what is natural, safe and efficient: approach carefully and filter more or less in turn.
At major junctions at peak times, traffic control can be useful. Otherwise, the best guide to action is our natural ability to negotiate movement based on context. In negating that ability, the current system squanders infinite filtering opportunities and infinite expressions of fellow feeling…
Read the rest of the article on ConservativeHome. Martin Cassini’s article for Economic Affairs, “Traffic Lights: Weapons of Mass Distraction, Danger and Delay”, can be downloaded here.