Thursday, December 07, 2006

More fun and frolics

I made a little bet with myself sitting in the traffic on the way home last night that the traffic this morning would be clear. I've mentioned that in the mornings the lights aren't biased enough towards the non-town side, what I might not have mentioned is that the lights are also slightly too biased towards the town side in the evening. So much so that I've been pretty much sailing through the town without stopping; normally a rare occurrence, whilst traffic on the other side is building up; normally a blue moon occurrence. Not last night though, sat in the slightly-worse-then-normal level of traffic. "Typical" I thought, "I bet they've reset the lights to either a 50/50 approach or just swung the biases the other way"

I would have lost the bet, turned out the build-up was caused by an incident/accident on the bridge. When I came through a car was sitting facing the town, half on the road half on the pavement, with a police van in the same position behind it. Now of course all the traffic coming into town was trying to get past them and slowing down, which meant the lights on the town side wouldn't switch until it was clear and thus holding everything up.

Now as I've said before accidents happen, and it doesn't take long for the traffic to start to build-up in this town. They might have pushed the car up the bridge on to the wider part of the road to help relieve the traffic, but hey it's probably only just happened right? Wrong; I happened to be speaking to my father and mentioned the traffic.

But that was like that when I came through.
When did he come through - about 4:30, when did I come through - about 6:00. So both the car and police van were sitting there for at least an hour and a half apparently doing nothing.

Right I'll start by saying that the police have a dirty and sadly thankless job, and I admire them for it. I don't blame them for how things are handled, I think they should get more local training about it and more resources to deal with it. So here's a general rant.

First up police should have still cameras, there are already some forces experimenting with head-mounted video cameras - about bloody time too; get both.

Police should have writeable road signs in their vehicles so they can write pertinent information and put them up on the roads where people can see them and take action that will actually help the police keep things clear, please, pretty please. It would be nice to know what's going on. The radio's all well and good, but traffic reports tend to be at set times and my signal has a tendency to fade out around here at times, besides the news is normally phoned in by someone stuck in the queue who themselves doesn't know what's happened, perhaps the police themselves could phone in and tell the local stations, do they do that already?

Finally and this has been mentioned over and over again by so many sources, put a local policeman whose job it is to do a set round and to get to know what the area is like, note not as part of their job, but their whole job. Something happens then they're the person who can say "We need to get this sorted as a ton of traffic is about to try and come through the town"

Okay that was just my tuppence-worth.