Why did we leave the French to have such a good idea?

To The Times
Your report on “smart” motorways beaming advice to drivers reminded me that French motorways have had “smart” messages for some time. Driving north of Bordeaux, I noticed that all the traffic around me had suddenly slowed, so I looked up at the approaching gantry. Instead of the usual “bouchon 10km” it was showing my registration number with TROP VITE. I have never lifted my foot from the accelerator so quickly. I fully expect this new generation of “smart” signs to read: “Mr Lindsay, too fast. Fine £100 already charged to your debit card.”
Roger Lindsay, East Horsley, Surrey

Among libertarians any restraints upon their needs and desires are unacceptable. I disagree. In an ordered world civilised people restrain their impulses (in this case) to speed and recklessly weave in and out of the traffic. I live in a city where the driving is becoming a scary threat to life, with people running red lights with not a thought in the world, and where, if you don’t catch the eye of a driver as you attempt to cross the street at a proper crossing, you risk your life, as some crazy driver tries to dodge in front of you with six inches to spare. It recently happened twice in a single morning alone. People are still being jailed for possession of marijuana in the United States. Could we not swap them for selfish drivers? At the very least stop them texting-while-driving – but that requires policemen patrolling on foot, apparently an old fashioned idea.

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